3 Ideas on How to Recover After a Joint Injury

Joint injuries, even minor ones, are not something to ignore. If there is any concern that you might have seriously hurt yourself, seek qualified medical attention as soon as possible. A simple x-ray of the joint may be enough to show how serious the injury is. Some joint injuries may require surgery and/or physical therapy. Lesser injuries can be healed with a little common sense and some natural home remedies. Try these tips for recovering from a joint injury.

Alternating Cold and Heat

There are 2 schools of thought on treating joint injuries with cold or heat. Many doctors now recommend using both, especially for arthritic joint conditions. If your joint swells following an acute injury, applying an ice pack to the area can bring down the swelling by temporarily constricting the blood flow to the joint, thereby reducing the inflammation.

While inflammation can be painful, it is a sign that your body is trying to heal the affected joint by sending more blood to the area. Therefore, heat can be helpful to speed up the healing process. Soaking in a warm bath is a great way to gently bring heat into the joints and surrounding muscles. Adding Epsom salts to the bath water can help to ease the pain.

Compression

A sprain can greatly benefit from compression to reduce swelling and to stabilize the joint. This can be achieved using elastic bandage wraps, splints, special boots, and air casts. Wraps and air casts are available at most drug stores. Splints and boots should be fitted by a surgical supply pharmacy, which may require a prescription.

Rest and Elevation

Rest is likely the most important thing you can do following a joint injury. It is wise to take any weight off of the joint by elevating it. Use crutches or a cane if necessary to reduce the weight. Elevate the injured leg, foot, or arm when sitting or relaxing. You should limit your exercise routine and daily activities until the swelling and pain have diminished. You don’t want to risk making the injury more serious than it is by pushing through the pain.

Recovering from a joint injury takes time. Be mindful of how you are feeling and practice patience during the healing process. It is also a good idea to nurture your body with good nutrition while recovering. Please see a health care professional if you feel the injury might be more serious.

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