A sprain is one of the most common sports-related injuries diagnosed. An injury to the ligaments surrounding a joint, a sprain is often painful but recovers fairly quickly. Natural treatments for a sprained ankle, knee or writes can often speed recovery time and relieve pain. Apple cider vinegar, ribwort plantain and arnica are three of the top remedies for sprains.
What is a Sprain?
A sprain is an injury that involves damage to the ligaments surrounding a joint. The ligaments are strong, flexible fibers that connect the bones; however, when one is stretched too far or even tears, the joint aches and swells. Such an injury occurs when a joint is forced into an unnatural position, such as when one twists an ankle. Symptoms include joint and muscle pain, swelling, joint stiffness and bruising.
Natural Treatments for Sprained Ankle, Knee and Wrist
A sprain should be iced as soon after the injury occurs as possible. Elevating the affected limb and wrapping it to limit movement is also important to prevent further damage and promote healing. Additionally, natural remedies including apple cider vinegar, arnica gel and ribwort plantain also speed healing and eliminate inflammation.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers a number of medicinal properties including the reduction of inflammation. When applied to a sprain or taken as a tonic, apple cider vinegar delivers concentrated amounts of important vitamins and minerals to the body that fight inflammation and relieve pain. The substance also flushes toxins from the body, offering relief in this way as well.
A relative of the sunflower, arnica is a flowering plant with a variety of healing attributes. The compound is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and is capable of removing excess fluids from the joints and muscles. As such, when applied to a sprain, the gel relieves pain and eliminates excess fluid that may be contributing to swelling, cutting healing time in the process.
Ribwort plantain is a perennial plant grown primarily for medicinal purposes. The extract is known as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent with the capability of treating a variety of other conditions as well. The compound also possesses epidermal growth factor, so it is capable of stimulating the repair and regrowth of damaged tissue.
While most sprains heal within 7 to 10 days, some may take as long as several weeks. Natural treatment options can shorten the duration of healing and eliminate the pain involved in the process.
Continue reading to learn which remedies worked best for Earth Clinic readers and let us know what you tried!