Alternative Cures For Sprains And Strains
Exhausted conventional treatments for your pain? Try looking to Mother Nature or Eastern therapies.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or weekend warrior, injuries are part and parcel of exercise. But while professional sportsperson has a physiotherapist at hand to tend to sore muscle and ligament strain, the rest of us seek comfort in a tube of burning muscle rub at best. But if the old rub doesn’t cut it anymore, or if you have an allergy towards painkillers, there are other alternative treatments to provide relief. Here’s what’s available:
What it’s about: In ayurveda, treatments are based on the philosophy that no two people have the same constitution of the five elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. Furthermore, different elements control different parts of the body. For instance, joint and other bodily movements such as blood circulation and urine flow are ruled by air and space.
Interestingly, the cause of the aches and pains is traced to bad digestion. When food is not properly digested, it becomes toxins that get deposited in weak areas of the body such as the back, hip and shoulders. These deposits block the flow of air and space and manifest themselves as aches and pains.
What it’s about: Plants are used to activate your body’s natural healing mechanism. We are transferring the energy from the herbs to the body o help it heal. Herbs in capsules and liquid forms make up the prescriptions. The herbs used don’t have side effects and are gentle on the digestive system. A few herbs can be used to achieve similar effects, for example, pain relief. But a naturopath would know which is the best one for your type of injury. Herbs can cleanse the joint of blood clots and toxins accumulated after an injury. They can also strengthen muscles and ligaments.
While some think that alternative remedies take longer than conventional medicine to heal, this is not necessarily true. Drugs may give you relief but they don’t necessarily prevent a relapse. Naturopathy looks at the long-term management of the injury.
What it’s about: When there’s pain, there’s stagnation of chi flow. Acupuncture stimulates the points along the meridiens (routes that energy moves along in the body) to flush the chi stagnation. To treat pain caused by sports injuries, it is not uncommon to prescribe a course of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and acupuncture. Acupuncture improves the pain as well as physiotherapy does by 50 percent.
Chinese herbs are also available if patients do not take well to the side effects of chemical drugs, which can lead to gastric problems and ulcers because of their high acidity. Some herbs belong to the cane family and have an anti-inflammatory effect like NSAIDs. The herbs are available in granules which you can dissolve in water and drink.
What it’s about: In homeopathy, the remedies used mimic the symptoms of the disease. It is a form of natural medicine that uses immeasurably small doses to stimulate the body’s own healing ability. The plant, animal or mineral used in the remedies is so greatly reduced that only its medicinal qualities remain. Salt for example can give you headaches when taken excessively. However, it is given as a remedy for headaches in homeopathy.
Homeopathy works primarily on the tissues so it reduces the swelling, inflammation and pain associated with joint sprains and muscle aches, it would also accelerate the healing of damaged, torn or bleeding tissue.