You might be walking down the road and suddenly sprain your ankle, or trying to lift a heavy bag and injure your arm. Such examples of injuries are endless.
Despite all the precautions you may take, injuries are very common. Oftentimes, they cause sudden pain and fairly rapid swelling at the site of the trauma. The inflammation is the body’s response to the injury and has protective value.
However, when the swelling is excessive, it can add to the pain and also lead to other complications.
You can prevent excessive swelling by beginning immediate treatment. Many natural remedies can be used to prevent or reduce swelling due to an injury.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for swelling from an injury.
1. Cold Compress
In the first 72 hours following an acute injury, applying a cold compress is one of the best ways to minimize swelling.
The cold temperature offers a numbing effect on the nerves, which in turn plays a key role in reducing swelling and inflammation.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Apply this pack on the affected area for 10 minutes.
- Repeat every 3 to 4 hours.
Instead of ice cubes, you can also use a frozen bag of peas to make a cold compress.
Note: Do not apply ice directly on the skin, as it may damage the skin or even cause frostbite. Plus, ice is not a suitable treatment option for chronic injuries.
Poor circulation is one of the key reasons behind promoting swelling in any part of the body due to injuries.
Elevating the affected area, such as a hand, finger, ankle or leg, above your chest level can help a lot to reduce swelling.
Elevation improves blood circulation, which in turn provides relief from discomforts like swelling, inflammation and pain. Elevation also facilitates elimination of waste products and speeds up the healing process.
- If your hand or fingers are swollen, you can sit on a sofa, put a few pillows on its arm rest and rest your hand on top of the pillows.
- To keep a hand or leg elevated while sleeping, put a few pillows under the affected area.
- If necessary, use a sling to keep your arm or leg elevated.
Compressing the injured area is another effective way to reduce swelling.
It provides stability and prevents fluid from accumulating in the affected area, which in turn aids in reducing pain and swelling.
- To apply compression, get an ACE wrap or similar elastic bandage from the store.
- Wrap the bandage using even pressure around the affected area.
- Keep the bandage on during the day until the swelling reduces.
- Remove the bandage before you go to sleep.
Note: Do not wrap the bandage too tightly, or else it hamper proper circulation.
4. Rest the Affected Area
To ensure quick reduction of swelling from an injury, you need to allow the injured area to rest as much as possible for the first 24 to 72 hours.
Proper rest is a key component for repairing soft tissue damage that often occurs with minor injuries. On the other hand, continual strain will cause more inflammation, pain and delay the healing time.
- If you have an injured foot or ankle, consider using crutches to take the pressure off the swollen area.
- If you have an injured arm, use the other arm to perform tasks or ask for help from others.
5. Epsom Salt Soak
Epsom salt is a great help when it comes to reducing swelling and pain after an injury.
Being made up of magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt helps improve blood circulation and relax stressed muscles.
You can start using Epsom salt 48 hours after the injury has occurred.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a small tub filled with warm water. Soak the affected area, such as a foot or hand, in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat up to 3 times a week.
- For larger injured areas like legs or shoulders, you can soak in an Epsom salt bath. Mix ½ cup of Epsom salt in your bathtub filled with warm water. Soak your body in it for 15 minutes twice a week.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another good home remedy to reduce swelling. It has anti-inflammatory as well as alkalizing properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Plus, the potassium, calcium and other essential minerals in it help ease pain and inflammation.
- Mix equal parts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water. Warm up the solution in the microwave, then soak a towel in it. Wrap the moist towel around the affected area and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat twice daily.
- Also, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, add a little raw honey and drink it twice daily.