Learn the steps to help heal injuries of soft tissue and broken bones.
by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP
At some point in our lives, we all need to know how to heal soft tissue injuries or broken bones. Regardless of the season, soft tissue and bone injuries happen all the time. Whether you slip on ice and wreck your wrist when you land, miss a step when hiking and tear something in your ankle, or have a surgical incision, it’s all the same to your body’s natural healing process.
Sprains, tears, strains, and breaks all require attention. While injuries of these types often heal on their own (with the notable exception of bone breaks), they can all heal faster and with fewer repercussions down the road if you give them the right care and the right amount of time to heal. I can attest to this, personally, that if you take an active part in the healing process you can likely reduce the healing time by 20 – 30% and will heal more thoroughly than if you simply ‘let nature take its course’.
Aside from the first prudent steps of having the injury evaluated by medical personnel (emergency room or physiotherapist, perhaps) and using the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) rule, there are several things that can assist in healing.
Bruising and swelling are often the first visible indications that damage has been done. RICE is the best first thing (after being medically assessed) that should be done. While the injury is being RICEd, and as long as there is no cast or broken skin, consider applying a poultice of equal parts comfrey and mullein combined with enough castor oil to make a thick paste. Apply this to the injury and hold it in place with gauze or clean diaper flannel. Change it two to four times per day for up to one week. I have seen this poultice draw out bruising and reduce swelling on many types of injuries, advancing healing by at least a week.
If the pain is severe, topical applications of appropriately diluted roman chamomile essential oil blended with peppermint essential oil will take the edge off.
Supplements to assist tissue healing
Collagen is the glue that holds your tissues together. When tissue is torn, broken, or cut, the collagen structure is disrupted. As it heals, the replacement collagen is tougher, but also less elastic and more brittle. It is more prone to tearing again – as any active person will tell you.
We often think of collagen as being only about wrinkle prevention, i.e. the better your collagen structure is, the less wrinkles you will develop as you age. The truth is, collagen is also a critical part of our bone structure. Collagen supplements are crucial for proper, thorough, and faster healing of breaks, tears, strains, and sprains. I often suggest that very active people should take collagen on a daily basis.
What about minerals?
Every cell in your body needs minerals all the time, and more so when healing traumatic injuries. At the very least the addition of calcium, magnesium, boron, and zinc are required.
Vitamins are needed, too
The most important vitamin for healing traumatic tissue injuries is Vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency slows down the closing of an open wound. Vitamin C is known to aid in healthy collagen production and has long been used to support the immune system, potentially reducing the risk of infection.
Even the University of Maryland Medical Center has advocated using natural therapies, including herbs, vitamins, and minerals, to aid in the healing of injuries.
I am a strong advocate of using Ionic Footbaths for supporting the healing of damaged tissue. The protocol is one footbath session every other day for 21 days, then take 3 weeks off, and repeat – although, when in dire situations, I have been know to do (and to recommend) one footbath every other day for months on end. I personally use and recommend the AMD IonCleanse. The increase in cellular energy created by the IonCleanse has been instrumental in healing injuries in half of the prognosed time, and in helping people to avoid surgical reconstruction.
At some point in the healing process the tissues need to be trained to work properly again. This is where a well-trained and experienced physiotherapist can be your most precious asset. Targeted rehabilitation exercises will build on all the good the RICE, nutrients, and essential oils have done. I will admit to getting really cranky with and having no sympathy for clients who complain of physical discomfort when they are not doing exercises that have been specifically recommended by their physiotherapists.
While it is true that accidents do happen (and so do surgeries), it is also true that there is much that can be done, naturally, to mitigate the discomfort and speed the healing of physical trauma.
Products referred to in this article:
Nature’s Sunshine Products Canada Nature’s Sunshine Products USA
Collagen Collagen Collagen
Collatrim (capsules) Collatrim (capsules)
Minerals Skeletal Strength Skeletal Strength
Zinc & Vitamin C Lozenges Zinc Lozenge
Vitamins Vitamin C 500 with Bioflavonoids Vitamin C Citrus Bioflavonoids
Essential Oils Roman Chamomile Authentic Oil is available through the Sunshine Direct program
(contact Nature’s Sunshine Canada at 1-800-265-9163 for instructions)
or by special order from Cobblestone Health
firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-850-5503).
Roman Chamomile Authentic Oil
Peppermint Oil Peppermint Authentic Oil
If you have concerns about your health [or your child’s], or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.
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Copyright © 2016 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).