Our ankles are important part of our anatomy. They help in effective movement of our feet which enables us to walk, run and do other activities that need foot work. They also bear the weight of our body continuously and this is why an ankle sprain can cause a lot of discomfort and in some severe cases may limit your movement temporarily. Sprain is caused by injury, sudden jerk or twist to the feet.
Swelling and appearance of blood vessels on the skin surface is also fairly common in cases of ankle sprain. Usually ointments and pain killers are prescribed by doctors for treating the sprain. In this feature we will discuss various natural remedies that can help in treating the sprain.
7 Natural Treatment For Ankle Sprain
Water It Up
Sprain can hamper the ankle movement to a large extent and this is where some warm water can help you out. Fill a tub with warm water and immerse your feet in the tub dipped till your shin. The warmth in the water will restore the flexibility of your feet and the warmth will soothe the sprained muscles.
While dipped in the water, move your feet slowly from the ankle in clockwise and anti clockwise way. This action will restore the lost ankle movement without exerting pressure on the ankle. Do this procedure for about 10 minutes and then cover your ankle with socks to prevent vast temperature difference which can worsen the pain and stiffness.
Slow and very gentle massage can help in getting relief from pain caused by sprain. It can also aid in healing the sprain expeditiously. Use of eucalyptus and menthol oil is recommended for massaging out the painful areas in the body. Both of these are base ingredients in many pain relieving ointments and balms.
Take 1-2 drops of any of these oils and apply on your ankle. Use index finger and thumb to make a ring around the ankle and run them around the ankle in both clockwise and anti-clockwise. With the help of thumb, massage gently on the swelled up region of the feet. After five minutes cover the massaged portion up with a socks. Do not overdo massaging, 5-10 minutes is enough. The oil feels cool at contact and spreads warmth once it penetrates the skin soothing the muscles and joints.
Using neem leaves for heating the area of sprain is a very old Indian remedy and it works like wonder. Neem has numerous medicinal properties right from external application to consuming it. For treating the sprain, take a bunch of Neem leaves and roast them in a pan for about 5 minutes. Let the excess heat escape and then wrap these warm leaves to your ankle using a cloth.
This remedy is best done before the bed time so that you sleep with the warm neem leaves wrapped around your ankle. The heat from neem leaves is believed to heal the pain and speed up the repair of muscles and ligaments in the body. If you can not get hold of neem leaves then just iron a wash cloth and wrap it around your ankle. Repeat this procedure for about half an hour and then lightly wrap the ironed wash cloth and sleep with it.
Turmeric is known to be very effective in tissue repair and is anti-inflammatory in nature. There are various ways in which you can use it for its benefits against the sprain and pain caused by it. Mix 2 spoonful of turmeric is warm milk and drink it twice in a day. This will expedite the healing process from within.
For external application, mix some warm mustard oil with turmeric to attain a paste like consistency and apply it on your ankle and cover it up properly. The only disadvantage of this remedy is that turmeric leaves stubborn stains on any cloth that they touch and even after washing turmeric tends to leave a yellow tinge on your skin.
This treatment is best done immediately after you have sprained your ankle. The coldness arrests swelling and numbness weakens the pain signals that our nerves send continuously to the brain.
For making cold compress at home, wrap 4-5 ice cubes in a wash cloth. Place this wash cloth around your ankles and upper feet for relief. As mentioned earlier too, this treatment is best done when the sprain is fresh. You must move to heat treatment and hot compress later on.
When you have a sprained ankle, avoid heavy exercises and walk with crepe bandage wrapped lightly on your feet and ankle together so that it lends support while you walk. Running is out of question and light swimming in warm pool can be carried out by avoiding jerks, twists and unnecessary movement of ankle and feet.
Do not hang your feet in the air and place them firmly on the ground while sitting without putting any weight on them. But elevating them under a support is recommended. Include oily fish like salmon and other food items rich in Omega 3 acid as they are anti-inflammatory in nature and aid in tissue repair as well. Avoid processed and refined food items as they are known to obstruct the body’s healing properties. use turmeric in your food preparations because of the aforementioned reasons.
Swollen feet must be elevated while sleeping. The idea is to elevate them above the level of heart. For this keep 2 pillows and place your feet on them.
The gravity and the action of pumping blood by heart tend to increase the swelling. Elevation reduces the swelling and slows down the rate at which blood rushes into the limbs. This slowing down causes mild numbness and thereby lends relief from the pain caused by sprain. The reduced rush of blood also aids and speeds up the healing. Keeping your feet lightly wrapped while sleeping can increase the potency of this remedy.
So from next time you sprain the ankle, try using these natural and very effective remedies for pain and swelling instead of taking painkillers and over the counter numbing gels and ointments.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.