SYMPTOMSBruised wrists, ankles, fingers, knees, back, hips, and sore or swollen muscles.
CAUSESMuscle injuries can occur when straining muscles too much, using them too long or hard, suddenly twisting, or hard falls.
Athletes frequently have such problems.
Sprains are a painful stretching of ligaments of the joints, caused by lifting, sudden stops or turns, injuries, or falls.
Strains are more severe; They involve torn ligaments and torn joint capsule, with bleeding and swelling.
The following suggestions are good both for prevention and treatment of injuries:
According to one view, sprains should be treated with ice or very cold water. Follow this by bandaging the injury with an Ace bandage.
But, according to a different view, sprains should be initially treated with alternate hot and coldespecially if it is in the wrist, elbow, or ankle. This method works better than using cold alone!
Put the injured part in very hot water, and keep it there 20-30 minutes. Every few minutes take it out of the hot water and plunge it into cold water for about a minutes, then back into the hot. Keep the hot water hot. This can continue for up to 2 hours with good results.
Repeat this for several days; and, twice a day, massage around the area.
If you use the cold method alone on a sprain, you may not be able to walk on a sprained ankle for days; use the alternate hot and cold method, and you may be much better in half the time.
(A third method calls for cold on strains to begin with, to reduce initial swelling, followed by alternate hot and cold afterward.)
If the sprain or strain is in the back or shoulder, treat it with hot fomentations, short cold, and massage.
A bad bruise on any part of the body can be treated as for a sprain or strain.
In addition to the above, strains frequently require a cast similar to that used for a fracture, so the injured joint area can be immobilized for more complete rest.
DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is a liquid that can be applied externally to the injured area, to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing. But only buy it in the health food store.
Also see "Athletic Workouts."
ENCOURAGEMENTThose who put away iniquity from their hearts and stretch out their hands in earnest supplication unto God will have that help which God alone can give them. In His strength, you can fulfill His will for your life.
PREPARATIONHere are a few helpful suggestions for those engaged in ongoing athletic workouts or other heavy labor or activity:
Maintain a nutritious diet, including full vitamin/mineral supplementation. Eat salads, whole grains, seaweed, seeds, nuts, and drink vegetable juices.
Maintain strong bones (see "Bones, Strengthening"). Include silica (horsetail and oat straw herbs), to help calcium strengthen the bones.
Vitamins A, D, E, C, zinc, and manganese are needed.
At the meal before a workout, do not eat much roughage, requiring energy to digest; it will make you sluggish. At that meal, avoid peaches, grapes, bananas, and celery.
Locate your allergies and eliminate them. If you have food allergies, exercise may increase the absorption of the allergenic food, resulting in severe reactions. See "Allergies" and "Pulse Test."
Glucose is the main fuel for the muscles. It is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. You can only work as long as you have stored glycogen ready to be changed into glucose. The best way to store up this glycogen is to eat complex carbohydrates.
Although body fat can also be converted to energy, avoid eating much fat. Focus on getting carbohydrates, not fat, in your diet.
Proteins are needed for muscles and tissues; they are not an energy source. The need for protein does not increase during a workout. Excess protein intake (at any time) increases urine elimination, which produces dehydration unless you are drinking enough water. Eating too much protein can damage the kidneys.
Stretch and warm up your muscles before exercising. Before doing this, muscles are about 98o F. and stiff. After a 5 minutes warm-up, they are several degrees higher and ready for action.
Drink fluids before, during, and after workouts. To prevent dehydration and cramping, do this whether or not you are thirsty.
Be sure and obtain adequate electrolytes. A 50-50 mix of fruit juice and water will help supply this.
After a workout, keep moving until you are rested. Do not take a shower until your body temperature has cooled down. This cooling down wait will help you avoid cramping and even a heart attack.
Do not use steroids in order to increase muscle mass and athletic performance! You may see temporary gain, but you are injuring your body.
In men, Dr. Graham Reedy, M.D, says that long-term use can lead to cancer, sterility, breast enlargement, shrinkage of the testicles, and osteoporosis (hollowing of the bones, leading to breakage). After mentioning some of the diseases steroid usage can lead to, Graham Reedy, M.D., adds: "Once the steroid treatments are stopped, all the buildup is lost, and fat tends to infiltrate the tissue." (Complementary Medicine/Sports Review, March/April 1986, p. 33.)
In women, excess facial and body hair, breast cancer, shrinkage of the breasts may occur.
Steroids tend to be psychologically addictive. The person feels dependent on taking them, until the physical damage becomes deeply ingrained. Anabolic steroids can produce heart attacks.
Do not lift weights if you have a heart problem. At the moment of the lift, breathing stops, circulation to the heart decreases, and great pressure is placed on the heart and lungs by surrounding muscles.
ENCOURAGEMENTReal happiness is found only in being good and doing good. Live to bless others, and you will find your deepest satisfaction. Live only for yourself, and you will perish alone.