First Aid for Sprains

The need for first aid for sprains can present itself to any household. The need is especially common in a family with kids involved in sports. But the need can arise for anyone.

Even an older person may take a fall and sprain a wrist or a knee. Hey, I even sprained my ankle – don't laugh – playing miniature golf!

So, what do we do for sprains?

Basic First Aid for Sprains

If one of us receives a sprain, we follow the basic first aid instructions found in any first aid book.. Those instructions are summed up in the acronym RICE.

  • Rest. Rest is important because continued activity could extend the injury.
  • Ice. Ice reduces bleeding to the area, which in turn helps healing to progress more quickly.
  • Compression. Compression limits excessive swelling that can extend healing time.
  • Elevation. Elevation of the injured area helps to drain collected fluid and reduce pain.
  • This basic approach is best when applied as soon as possible.

This basic approach is best when applied as soon as possible.

When applying ice, wrap in a towel to protect the skin. We've found that a bag of peas works well!

For compression, an elastic bandage works well, and it can also hold the bag of peas in place.

We've found that keeping the ice applied for thirty minutes and then unwrapping for about fifteen minutes, and then doing this for three hours or so is sensible.


Sprains and Essential Oils

O.K., what do we do if we want the benefits of essential oils – which of course we do – when it comes to first aid for sprains?

We turn to several of what we call “tree oils” – cypress, pine, spruce, and Idaho balsam fir.

Last time we had a sprain I took cypress, pine, and spruce and applied it to the injured area. I topped the area off with peppermint, and then followed RICE as described above. This was very effective, getting the injured party back on his feet in no time.

Some other oils that people have used in a similar way is the blend Aroma Siez and Wintergreen.

What I typically do is just use a few of these oils I have on hand.


Pain Relief

A discussion about caring for sprains would not be complete without saying something about pain relief.

We generally avoid common pain relievers like aspirin because I like to follow a natural approach, even for pain relief.

Thankfully, we've found the oils mentioned above to work great in this regard, especially peppermint and wintergreen.

Another good oil for pain relief is the blend PanAway.

Taking care of sprains is greatly enhanced with essential oils. 


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