For athletes, muscle sprain and strain are the most common sport injuries. These injuries are painful and creates physical performance dysfunction. Depending on the injury, the ability to return to practice or competition is crucial. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential in minimizing down time and recovery. Aromatherapy and essentials oil can be incorporated to treatment and therapy.
Muscle Sprain vs. Muscle Strain ( Source: webmd.com)
As defined by webmd.com, a sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to bones at joints. Sprian is usually a twist in the joint like a sprained ankle. When a person falls or twists their body, thus creating an imbalance from its normal position. Sprains usually happen when a person falls, twists, or hits in a way that forces the body out of its normal position. A strain is caused by an over stretch or tear usually in the muscle or tendons.
There are three grades of sprain:
If you have a sprain, your doctor may mention its “grade”:
- Grade I is stretching of the ligament or a very mild tear, with little or no instability at the joint.
- Grade II is a more serious but still incomplete tear, with some looseness in the joint.
- Grade III is a completely torn or ruptured ligament. This is not a broken bone, but can feel like one since it’s often impossible to put weight on the joint or use the affected limb because the joint isn’t stable.
RICE Therapy is the most prescribed treament for sprain and strain unless the pain and swelling don’t start to ease within 24 to 72 hours, unable to bear weight on the injured area, and other symptoms get worse and there is increased discomfort. RICE therapy stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
- Compress: Fill a basin with water. (Warm water relaxes and increases circulation. Cool water invigorates and relieves inflammation.) Add 3-5 drops of essential oil and briskly stir. Lay in a washcloth, wring, and apply to the area in need for approximately 1-5 minutes. Dip, wring, and apply 3 more times. Here is how to create a heat compress.
- Massage: Mix 6-30 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil or fragrance-free, natural lotion.
- Spot Application: Mix 1-4 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil or aloe vera and apply to the area in need.
ESSENTIAL OILS RECOMMENDED
Lavender is calming and relax. It also relieves pain and inflammation.
Eucalyptus has a cooling effect on muscles and reduces pain and inflammation.
Roman and German chamomile oils are great for pain and inflammation. They also help soothe muscle tension and reduce spasms.
Ginger oil has a warming effect on sore muscles, which helps relieve pain. Lemongrass oil.
Lemongrass works quickly to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Peppermint contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on sore, achy muscles. It also has analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Helichrysum oil relieves muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain.
Marjoram oil relaxes muscle spasms and tension. It’s known for its ability to ease pain and inflammation.
Cypress calms and relaxes muscles spasms and works to soothe inflammation.
Sandalwood oil. Sandalwood alleviates muscle spasms, tension, and inflammation.
Clove oil. Clove is often used to treat pain. It also has a warming effect on sore muscles.
The use of natural, aromatic substances, known as essential oils, to enhance the well-being of body, mind, and spirit. (This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. No information provided is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)