Sprains and Strains

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Sprains and Strains


Sprains and strains are common injuries of the muscles and ligaments. A sprain is the tearing of a ligament, the tissue that connects bones to one another at a joint. A strain is damaged muscle tissue caused by stretching or tearing it. They are not fatal and often heal themselves, however if the injury is more severe surgery might have to be performed. It may also weaken bones or muscles and make them susceptible to injuries in the future.

Symptoms of a sprain include:

Swelling of a joint
Pain in the joint
Difficulty in moving a joint

Symptoms of a strain include:

Sharp pain at injury, followed by tenderness, stiffness, and occasionally swelling.



Sprains and strains usually occur after an accident or if the joints or muscles are stressed beyond their normal tolerance.

Dietary Considerations


Taking a supplement of Vitamin A, C and E, selenium may help speed up the recovery of sprains and strains. Applying a hot water to the area may help eventually. If suffering from a sprain apply ice immediately after the injury, and elevate the affected limb. Your herbalist will then suggest applying arnica as a cream or tincture, or using a compress of arnica and comfrey root. Horsetail and vitamin C can also help with the healing of the muscle tissue.



You should always do warm up exercises before doing anything strenuous also try to keep strong and fit so that your muscles will be able to keep up with the strenuous activities.

When to seek further professional advice

If you are unable to move or bear any weight on an injured joint, there is pain, stiffness or swelling and it has not improved after 2-3 days and if the bones are not aligned properly.

Alternative/natural Treatments


Chinese herbalists may recommend using a poultice of gardenia, flour and wine as it helps to reduce swelling and promote healing. Massage with the extracted oil of safflower is also thought to improve circulation, and therefore encourages healing. Homeopaths recommend taking Arnica orally as it is an anti-inflammatory and can help relieve the pain.

Traditional Treatment

Your doctor will treat the pain and the swelling. He will also advise that you rest the area as much as possible, use ice, compression and elevation. He may also advise the use of crutches to support the limb while it is healing. Sprain and strains usually take 2-3 weeks to heal.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 0000-00-00