Sprains are caused when a particular muscle of the body is suddenly overexerted. It is felt as a sharp pain, rendering that portion of the body immobile for a while. Sprains can cause redness and swelling of the region and can persist for a few days if they are too acute. In very severe cases, sprains can lead to permanent muscular pains and even disfigurement.
The Vyaana vata, which is a sub-dosha of the vata is responsible for all voluntary movements of the body. When this biological force is vitiated, then sprains occur. Sprains normally occur in the leg muscles, since these are more subjected to movement. They can also occur in the back or the neck muscles. Sprains that are confined to the leg muscles are called as Pindikodveshtana, while sprains that can spread over the entire body are known as Khalli vata.
Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Sprains
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove oil is effective in the treatment of sprains and muscular cramps. It is made into a poultice and applied on the affected parts.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is a very effective painkiller. A paste is made by rubbing dry ginger in water. This is applied locally on the sprained part.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
The hyssop herb is very good remedy for several muscular problems, including sprains. For the treatment of sprains, a paste of the entire herb is made and is applies externally to the affected area. Alternatively, the paste can be steeped in boiling water and this can be used as fomentation for the affected muscle. Hyssop provides immediate benefits in sprains. It is also very effective in the treatment of black eyes, wounds, bruises, burns and strains.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice is used in the treatment of muscular aches and sprains. Its roots are soaked in water overnight and this infusion is applied on the affected parts.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Oil of the marjoram herb is extracted and is applied locally on the affected regions in case of sprains, bruises and even paralysis. In case of stiffness, a simple application of the marjoram oil, slightly warmed, helps to loosen the muscles.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is made into a paste and is mixed with lime and salt. This is applied on the sprained muscles with very good results.
Dietary Guidelines for Treatment of Sprains
Sprains are caused due to vitiation of the vata dosha. Dehydration can vitiate the dosha further. Hence you must make it a point to stay properly hydrated when you have a sprain. Drink a few glasses of water when the sprain comes on, preferably with a dash of lemon juice in it. Orange juice is also good to maintain the water content of the body. Always have some mineral-rich foods before going to bed in order to protect yourself from sprains. Bananas are ideal.
Do not have any strong beverages especially after dark. Tea, coffee must be avoided, and so also chocolates. Instead, have a cup of warm milk before going to bed.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Sprains
Ayurveda generally prescribes oil massage therapies for the treatment of sprains. Mahanarayana taila and Praharini taila are two good oils which can be used. These oils can be warmed a little before application to provide better effects.
Medicines that Ayurveda prescribes for people with sprains are Pratapa Lankeshwara rasa and Laxmivilasa rasa. Sinhanaada guggulu is also occasionally prescribed.
Home Remedies for Treatment of Sprains
Apply mustard oil on the sprain and sprinkle turmeric powder on it. Then bandage the area with a small towel. Then put some salt and tie it tightly in another cloth to make a bundle of it. Warm this on a pan. Apply this on the bandage. The sprain will clear out in a short time.
Simply applying warm mustard oil on the affected area and then having a warm water bath also helps in the treatment of the sprains.
The following methods work if you get a sudden sprain. Try them out before applying any medication.
Straighten the muscle and flex it upwards. If you have a sprain in the calf muscle, then sit down on a chair and pull your leg as much away from your body as you can. Then try to pull out the toes as much upwards as you can. This can relieve minor sprains.
Dip a towel in ice-cold water and tie it around the sprained muscle. The cold temperature will make the muscle numb and make the sprain go away.
Application of a hot pad also helps in removing sprains. If the sprain is on the back, then take a shower bath with hot water.
If you are having regular sprains, then it is indicative of some circulatory problems in your legs. Get them checked.