A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is a tough, elastic-like band that attaches to your bones and holds your joints in place. A sprain is caused by excessive stretching of the ligament. The ligament can have tears in it or it can be completely torn apart.

Sprains occur most often in your ankles, knees or the arches of your feet. Sprained ligaments swell rapidly and are very painful. The more severe the injury, the greater the pain is.

First Aid

1. Try not to use the injured joint. You could cause further injury. If necessary, use splints or crutches.

2. To minimize swelling, use a cold pack or ice pack as soon as possible after the injury. If you use ice, be sure not to use it for too long a period. The ice could cause tissue damage.

3. Compress the sprain using an elastic wrap or bandage.

4. Elevate the injured limb above heart level whenever possible to help limit swelling.

Herbal Treatments

Sprains respond well to Arnica and Comfrey compresses or poultices. Arnica is anti-inflammatory and Comfrey promotes the growth of connective tissue, bone, and cartilage, and is easily absorbed through the skin.

Poultice – Mix Arnica flowers or chopped, fresh Comfrey root into a little hot water to form a thick mash. Spread on a linen cloth and apply to sprain. Renew every 2 to 4 hours.

Seek medical assistance if:

* You hear a popping sound when your joint is injured or you can’t use the joint. The ligament could be completely torn apart. Use ice pack immediately.

* You have a fever and the area is red and hot. You may have an infection.

* You don’t improve each day after the first 48 hours.

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