WRITTEN BY Dr. Stephanie Rubino, BSc. ND- 04 May 2012
If you find yourself injured this spring after dusting off your runners or cleats, Webber Naturals expert, Dr. Stephanie Rubino, wants to help you get back in the game!
Golf, soccer, baseball…it’s the perfect time of year to start being active outdoors. However, if you decide to dive straight into action after being a couch potato over the winter, you may risk injuring yourself. That said, if you follow the R.I.C.E. method within 48 hours of an injury, you can help relieve pain, reduce swelling and speed healing:
- Rest by reducing your regular activities.
- Ice by putting an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day.
- Compression by applying pressure with a wrap, splint or boot, on the injured area.
- Elevation by placing the injured area on a soft cushion, so it is above the level of the heart.
NSAIDS such as aspirin and ibuprofen, ultrasound and massage are common methods to help the healing process but let’s take a look at few natural health products you may want to have on hand in case you or a family member become injured!
Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Turmeric is used in India as an Ayurvedic remedy to treat wounds, cuts, bruises, injuries, and bleeding. The active compound in turmeric, known as curcumin, has been shown to be highly effective at reducing joint pain and stiffness, enhancing recovery from an injury and can be used to protect the joints from future injury.
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Devil’s Claw
We commonly hear about Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM for the treatment of arthritis, but they may also be effective for helping individuals recover from sports injuries. They supply the building blocks needed for regeneration and repair of cartilage, ligaments and tendons, and can also improve the production of synovial fluid and reduce pain.
Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is an herbal remedy used to help sports injuries by decreasing inflammation and pain. Restorativ® Glucosamine MSM Cream with Herbs and Essential Oils is a natural, pain-relieving cream including Glucosamine, known to help promote joint movement, as well as MSM and Devil’s Claw, known for their natural anti-inflammatory benefits, and camphor and peppermint oils, known for soothing pain relief. Apply a small amount to affected areas to help relieve pain associated with arthritis, tendonitis, muscle pain and sport injury.
Arnica (Arnica montana) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s. When applied to the skin, Arnica can soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. Arnica Muscle & Joint Gel helps to reduce soreness and inflammation in muscles and joints. This medicinal herbal gel is ideal for the relief of minor pain and inflammation due to injury, bruises, sprain, stiff muscles, arthritis or overexertion.
Other important tips for a speedy recovery include:
- Increasing your intake of water, vitamins, minerals, proteins, complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids to provide the building blocks your body needs for healing.
- Contrasting hydrotherapy by applying 3 minutes of hot water, followed by 1 minute of cold water to the injured area. Repeat this 3 times, and start at least 3 days after the initial injury.
- Getting as much sleep and rest as possible.
- Working with a physiotherapist and/or osteopath to improve strength and flexibility.
- Getting regular massages and doing stretching exercises.
- Learning to not go beyond your limits!
- Playing safe and having fun!
Image sources: http://www.fitsugar.com/Tips-Icing-Sports-Injury-2950611