Summer is Here!! And here comes baseball leagues, swimming in the fresh water lakes, kayaking to explore our beautiful coast.
These outdoor activities can bring on unexpected injury.
Think twice before you jump to the medicine cabinet for Ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin, Motrin, Voltaren or another NSAID. Let nature's wisdom take its course.
One advantage to shelving the anti-inflammatory medicine is it keeps us from doing further damage, as pain limits our activity. A second advantage is to gain the benefits of the body's innate wound healing process.
Ligament sprains heal through three phases. The healing process starts with an acute inflammatory phase, leading into a proliferation phase, and finally the tissue remodeling phase. It may take upwards of six months to go through all of these phases.
The acute inflammatory phase recruits blood vessels to the area. Along with these blood vessels come growth factors of collagen and stem cells. Macrophages, directors of the healing process, assign these new cells to specific tasks.
NSAIDs reduce inflammation and eliminates the body's ability to heal. Tissue remodeling can't occur without the initial inflammatory phase. Steps can't be skipped in this healing process. As the ligaments remain injured, joints remain unstable and lead to arthritis and further injury.
If the pain is persistent, the injury is more substantial or you don't want to be benched during baseball season, Prolotherapy is a course of action that you can take to augment the healing of an injured joint, ligament or tendon. As the tissue heals, the pain is gone, without the chronic use of NSAIDs.