Treatment of sprains at home means getting rid of pain and inflammation with affordable means without consulting a specialist or if the doctor himself recommended this method of recovery. As a rule, self-therapy is resorted to only for minor injuries that heal quickly and do not threaten complications.
Tightened ligaments are quite common. You can injure a leg or arm while playing sports, when moving awkwardly or walking on an icy road. Most often, the knee and ankle joint are affected. To prevent subsequent instability of the joint, therapy must be quick and competent, even if it is carried out at home.
Home treatments for sprains
There are three degrees of sprain. Self-treatment is possible only in the first two cases, when the elastic joints are partially torn, there is no hemorrhage or very little, there is swelling and moderate pain. There may be a limitation in joint mobility or instability.
The duration of home treatment for minor ligament injury in the knee, foot, or shoulder is 2–6 weeks. The neck and back will recover a little longer. Over-the-counter pills, compression, massage, and exercise can help relieve pain and speed recovery. We must not forget about folk recipes that can relieve swelling and discomfort in a short time.
Medicines without a doctor’s prescription
Treatment of ligaments is impossible without the use of drugs. The following medications will help you quickly manage the symptoms of stretching at home:
- NSAIDs – Indomethacin , Nise , Diclofenac , Ketorolac , Ortofen . They are taken no more than 5-7 days.
- Warming ointment – Kapsikam , Apizartron , larkspur with bee venom, Arthro -Aktiv. The balm-gel Radikulin is specially designed for the back area . Such ointments can be used only in the absence of allergies to the components. Read more about sprains ointments →
- OTC pain relievers – Paracetamol, Analgin, Aspirin.
- Absorbing agents – Heparin ointment, Troxevasin , Lyoton , Bodyaga cream. They are used for hematomas, bruises and seals.
- B vitamins – accelerate the healing of fibers, restore their elasticity and extensibility.
It is pointless to use chondroprotectors for ligament injuries , since they strengthen only the articular tissue and do not in any way affect the elastic bands between the bones. Although some experts recommend using these medicines at home to treat a knee sprain.
Compression with a fixing bandage is an obligatory element of therapy for sprains. The elastic band will keep the joint in the desired position, prevent the development of hematoma and edema. If you do not have a medical device at hand, in case of a sprained ankle or knee joint at home, you can take a strip of thick cloth or a towel. A medical bandage is suitable for treating and protecting the ligaments of the arm.
When applying a bandage, you do not need to tighten the limb very tightly. This way you can transfer large vessels and provoke stagnation of blood in the leg. The time of ligament immobilization can be different. To fix sprains of the first degree, it is enough to use a bandage for 3-4 days. For more serious injuries, it will take a little longer – at least 2-3 weeks.
For the treatment of minor sprains of the legs and arms at home, you can purchase special fixing bandages – calipers. These are very comfortable orthopedic products. They not only provide good immobilization of the joint, but also retain some maneuverability, which greatly facilitates recovery.
On the first day after stretching, cold is applied to the injured ligaments. This can be ice in cheesecloth or heating pad, cold compress or even a handful of snow. This procedure relieves pain well, prevents the appearance of hematoma and swelling. If a sports frost ( Frost Spray ) or a hypothermic package (Snowball, Appolo ) accidentally happens to be in the house , it is recommended to use them. When stretching the ligaments of the foot, the leg can simply be lowered into a basin of cool water.
Cold treatment at home is useful to alternate with warm compresses. This is what is recommended when stretching the neck. Immediately after the ice lotion, you should take a warm shower or apply a heating pad to the sore spot. This contrast therapy has a remarkable effect. In this case, any of the compresses should not be kept longer than 7-10 minutes.
A pronounced analgesic effect in sprains is provided by a lotion with Dimexide . It is recommended to be used at home to treat stretched ligaments of the knee, shoulder or ankle. In a solution prepared from Dimexide and water (in a ratio of 1: 4), moisten gauze folded in 3-4 layers and apply it to the sore joint. Cover the top with cling film or oilcloth and secure with a bandage. After half an hour, wash off.
Another remedy for sprains that has proven itself well at home is a compress of hot milk with honey. Take 1 tsp for a glass of drink. delicacies, moisten a napkin in solution and apply to damaged ligaments. The lotion is covered with a film, insulated with cotton wool and left until morning. It is recommended to make a milk compress after reducing the inflammatory process, usually on the 4th-5th day of treatment.
When ligaments are injured, blood flow must be restored very quickly in and around the damaged tissues. Therefore, massage must be included in the treatment regimen for sprains. You can do it yourself or contact a specialist. It is recommended to apply warming ointments along with the massage movements.
Self-massage techniques and techniques depend on the location of the sprain. The joints on the arms and legs should be stroked in a circular motion with light pressure, but without pain, vibrate, pat. For neck treatment, rubbing and kneading movements are suitable . You need to perform the procedure for 5-10 minutes several times a day.
It is recommended to start developing a joint at home even before removing the fixing bandage. Prolonged immobility after stretching can provoke coarsening and loss of elasticity of the fibers, due to which the ligaments become tight and decrease in length, which dramatically increases the risk of re- injury .
There is a set of exercises for the treatment of each type of joints. For example, when stretching the ligaments of the foot, various rotations and turns will give the greatest effect. At home, you can stand on tiptoes, pick up small things from the floor, try to write letters by holding a pencil with your fingers. A more difficult option is sitting on a chair, legs bent at the knees and spaced shoulder-width apart, support on toes. From this position, you need to try to put the heel on the floor.
Sprained ankles and ankles can be treated with a variety of rotations, abductions, flexion and extension of the foot, and tiptoeing. A good effect at home is given by rolling a bottle, kneading with your feet on Kuznetsov’s applicator or small stones poured into the box. In case of damage to the ligaments of the wrist, squeezing the expander is great.
Treating a knee sprain is done by squatting, straightening and flexing the limb. Perfectly stretches injured ligaments while cycling. At home, you can use an exercise bike, exercising on it for 10-15 minutes a day.
Folk remedies for sprains
Treatment of ligament injuries by unconventional methods has become very popular among patients. The advantage of folk remedies for stretching is undeniable – it is low toxicity, sparing effect on the body, availability and ease of use.
In the first days after injury to the ligaments, clay applications bring significant relief. Yellow or blue powder is diluted with warm liquid (200 ml) until sour cream is thick, add 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar. The mixture is spread on a napkin and tightly bandaged to the sore spot.
For the treatment of damaged ligaments of the ankle or knee joint, it is recommended to prepare such a folk remedy for stretching – grate raw potatoes with the peel, add so much rye flour into the mixture to make a thick gruel and put the resulting composition on gauze folded to the required size. Cover the compress with oilcloth and bandage to the place of damage.
Another effective folk remedy for sprains is the cabbage leaf. It is thickly smeared with honey, applied to the knee joint or ankle area and left for 5-6 hours. It is recommended to make such a compress every day until the symptoms of trauma disappear.
Homemade mummy ointment gives a good healing effect. To prepare it, 200 g of interior lard is heated in a water bath with 50 g of pre-crushed mummy until the components are dissolved. The resulting composition is filtered and poured into a jar. Used every day at night.
Effectiveness of home treatment
If the damage to the ligaments is limited to only sprains, home treatment will give an excellent effect. Means made according to recipes of traditional medicine will quickly eliminate inflammation and swelling, massage will improve blood circulation and accelerate the healing of elastic fibers, and exercise therapy will not allow the ligaments to become hardened.
At the same time, you need to understand that home treatment is not omnipotent. If, after using all of the listed remedies, relief does not occur, and the pain and swelling only intensify, an urgent need to go to the doctor. It is possible that the patient does not have a sprain, but a final rupture of the ligaments, which requires surgery.
Independent measures for stretching the ligaments are necessary in any case. Even after a complete rupture of elastic fibers, some elements of home treatment are introduced into the postoperative rehabilitation scheme. Therefore, you need to know what and under what conditions cannot be done:
- During the first three days after the injury, any heat is prohibited – hot lotions, baths, saunas, solarium.
- During rehabilitation, it is undesirable to take alcohol. Alcohol not only impairs healing, but also increases the risk of re- injury to the ligament.
- It is recommended to start developing the joint 3-5 days after the injury. Do not do gymnastics if the exercise causes pain and discomfort at the stretch site.
- Medicines from the NSAID group should be taken with caution in case of ulcers and other gastrointestinal diseases, and it is better to completely refuse them.
- It is not recommended to use alternative medicine recipes to which you are allergic.
Knowing these rules and following them, you can easily restore the functionality of the ligaments at home.
Unfortunately, many do not pay attention to the pain when stretching the elastic fibers, considering such an injury to be frivolous. And in vain. If treatment is not started, stiffness can develop and the risk of re-injury increases. After all, only a successful restoration of the ligaments will allow you to return to your previous way of life.