Weekend Warrior: Treating Muscle Strains, Sprains and Injuries

OK, weekend warrior, you’ve had an extra long hibernation this last season and now that the sun is shining you hit the outdoors full throttle. You overdid it and now you’ve hurt yourself. So what do you do about it? Is it back to couch? Being stuck indoors? Not for long, if you follow these pointers.

  • If it’s an acute injury, with obvious swelling and redness, the first order of business is to bring the inflammation down. Swelling is the body’s way of immobilizing to allow itself to heal.
  • For the first 24 hours use ice — ten minutes on, ten minutes off. No longer–  cell membranes can become damaged with the continuous cold.
  • After the initial period of icing, you can alternate icing (10 min), heat (10 min), nothing (10 min) and repeat as needed. This combination literally pumps the toxins out of the tissue and helps bring circulation to the affected area to speed up healing.
  • Lastly, if the area is still tender and swollen, an ace bandage is a good idea. It will immobilize, reduce inflammation and remind you that you are injured.

Remember to use your judgment, if you feel the injury is severe, please seek proper medical attention.

Epsom salts, peppermint and ylang ylang. . .Who needs Calgon?

If what you’re feeling is more along the lines of soreness and fatigue, try these surefire helpers:

  • Take a long hot bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts to do the trick. Epsom salts have a high concentration of magnesium and that is absorbed directly through our skin. Our skin is the largest organ in the body, and it turns out, it’s also a two-way communicator with the world around us. Which means, just as toxin elimination occurs through our skin,  absorption of both toxins and the good stuff, like minerals, occurs as well.
  • In the summer you might want to make it a cool bath, rather than a hot one. Try a refreshing peppermint and Epsom bath. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts and a handful of torn peppermint leaves to a tub of tepid water. For a little extra pampering throw in 3 drops of ylang ylang pure essential oil. Step in, relax, and await small miracles.

Whichever situation you’re in (acute injury or fatigue), remember to stay hydrated!! We cannot emphasize this enough. Some schools of thought believe that 80% of injuries could be avoided with proper hydration.

  • Of course, a massage is often in order, just to help move the toxins along, decongesting the tissues. Massage can be tailored to the injury in an effort to assist the body. Bodywork for the injured consists of very gentle action in the injured area, with more intense work in surrounding areas. In the case of an injury, like those seen in motor vehicle accidents (MVA), the work is very gentle initially and becomes deeper as the body starts to heal.

No two consecutive massages will ever be the same because the body changes all the time, but working to prevent injuries is pretty universal.

TIP: Use your common sense, don’t start any new activity without warming up and quit in a reasonable time. Pain is the body’s warning system, if you are hurting enough that it makes you stop, you’ve already gone too far.

Now go enjoy your bath!