Who has ever had a sprain or strain? Sprains are stretching or tearing of ligaments, while strains involve stretching or tearing of muscles and tendons. Some sprains or strains may heal within a couple of weeks. Other sprains or strains that involves tears may take several months to heal or require surgery. Many people are familiar with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevate when they have a sprain or strain which is great for the first 2-3 days after an injury. We are also told to take an NSAID (Advil, Motrin, Aleve…etc) to reduce pain and inflammation. However, there are side effects to taking NSAIDs such as stomach ulcers, acid reflux, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. NSAIDs also affect the microbiome which in turn can affect overall health. Great news is that there are natural remedies that won’t affect the gut and overall health!
Natural remedies for sprains or strains:
- Curcumin – Take at least 1000mg twice daily, and is best taken with bioperine (black pepper) or healthy fat for absorption. It is a natural inflammatory which won’t have effects from NSAIDs such as disruption of the gut barrier and microbiome, ulcers, and high blood pressure. My favorite brand is by Pure Encapsulations.
- CBD (oil, balm): CBD is cannabadiol and is an amazing anti inflammatory property found in hemp. A friend of the family has a CBD company in Colorado that sources their hemp from a farm that is organic and nonGMO. Check out Stay Savvi and use radiant10 for 10% off.
- Epsom salts: Magnesium salts help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. Soak the injured area in warm water and epsom salt for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day. You can alternate soaks with ice as well. My favorite epsom salts are from Whole Foods.
- Essential oils: Use essential oils with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba, or almond oil and apply over affected area. Lavender is a natural muscle relaxant, peppermint and frankincense are natural anti inflammatories. Look for brands that are organically sourced such as Plant Therapy, or organic and nonGMO such as Oranixx.
- BPC 157: A peptide made up of 15 amino acids that is found in our gastric juice and been found to help heal tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Peptides are not available in stores or over the counter at pharmacies, it must be ordered from a compounding pharmacy such as Tailor Made. Follow up with a Functional Medicine practitioner or schedule a consult to see how BPC could help you!