Acute Joint Care

One of the initial responses that the body has to any trauma is inflammation and it’s no exception with your joints.  The problem we have is that there is limited space in your joints, so when inflammation occurs things get cramped and irritated.  The inflammatory response is what causes the joint to become stiff and swollen.  The actual inflammatory substance is a complicated protein and if it gets to any nerves it will cause them to fire off a pain signal.  If your body detects a joint structure has been injured and unstable, it will tighten things up using the muscles to prevent any further injury.  So with an injury we have the inflammatory response, swelling, irritated nerves and tight muscles.  Now, let’s see what we can do about this the natural way.

Inflammation/Swelling:  Ice, Ice, Ice.  Always use ice after an acute injury.  It’s a natural anti inflammatory and the sooner you apply ice the sooner you can minimize further inflammation.  Guidelines for Ice therapy.

  1. Get the ice on quickly.
    Icing is most effective in the immediate period following an injury. The effect of icing diminishes significantly after about 48 hours.
  2. Perform an “ice massage.”
    Apply ice directly to the injury. Move the ice frequently, not allowing it to sit in one spot.
  3. Don’t forget to elevate.
    Keep the injured body part elevated above the heart while icing — this will further help reduce swelling.
  4. Watch the clock.
    Ice for 15-20 minutes, but never longer. You can cause further damage to the tissues, including frostbite, by icing for too long.
  5. Allow time between treatments.
    Allow area to warm for at least 45 minutes or an hour before beginning the icing routine again.

The fluid build up from the inflammation process is made up of complicated proteins.  In order to break them down so the body can reabsorb them, you can use proteolytic enzymes.  They are natures enzymes that break down complicated proteins such as those found in the inflammatory response.

Therapeutic enzymes—such as bromelain from pineapple and papain from papaya —have been documented for over half a century, but even ancient civilizations knew of their healing powers and wrapped papaya leaves around wounds to promote healing.

Muscle Tightness:  Valerian Root is a natural substance that helps with relaxing nervous system which controls the muscles.  Bear in mind it typically smells nasty, but it really does help and the relaxing effect it produces can also may help you sleep better.

To recap, when you have an acute injury, get ice on it right away, take enzymes for inflammation and Valerian Root for the muscle tightness.


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