Sprains are mainly caused due to stretching or tearing of ligaments resulting in restriction of your movement. The prime reason for this injury is the sudden change of direction or due to a collision. The common parts affected are the ankles, wrists and knees.
Sprain on the other hand is the tearing and stretching of the muscles. This happens due to contraction or stretching of muscles. But this can turn into a chronic strain if the muscles are overworked. We usually term this occurrence as pulling of the muscle. Some of the common places of strains are hamstring and back.
Resting can be termed as the best thing to do during this time. Any kind of activity should be avoided which may cause pain, swelling or any other discomfort. You can still exercise to rejuvenate other muscles which need to be conditioned.
Ice pack is great way to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. Keep it on the affected area for 15-20 minutes and repeat it every two to three hours to minimize the pain.
The use of compression helps in compressing the pain with use of elastic tapes, bandages, special boots, air casts and splints. This tightens the strained or sprained area by avoiding further injury.
By keeping the injured part elevated you can help in decreasing the swelling. The best position to keep the injured part elevated is above your heart level.
Home Remedies for Sprains and Strains
You can expect to get well soon from the agonizing sprain by making pineapple part of your staple diet and that too in good quantity. The contents in pineapple have bromelain, an enzyme which quickens the healing process. The side effects of bromelain causes dermatitis, so if your skin itches due to the pineapple diet, stop it immediately.
You can consume aspirin or ibuprofen to get relieve from the swelling and pain
Massaging the affected area with comfrey oil or cream can help in alleviating the pain.
Five drops of thyme oil diluted either in bathwater or some other oil can be used as a compress to get rid of swelling.
Arnica balm or ointment can be used as cream or a compress for the affected area.
Horse chestnut is also very useful for such injuries. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and presence of a compound called aescin it becomes beneficial for all kinds of injuries. You can spread this gel on the affected area every two hours till the pain subsides.