I’ve been having such a fun time recently getting back into horse riding – it’s a great stress reliever, I have always loved horses and I’m fulfilling a desire I’ve had for a long time to be riding again. And yet, those suckers are big, and it’s a long way down if you fall off … and, well … I fell off. After the initial embarrassment wore off and the bruising and stiffness wore on, I went back to my naturopathic tool kit and pulled out my favorite goodies for sore muscles and bones. Here are my six tips for post-injury recovery that have been helping me over the past week.
1. Deep Blue essential oil blend topically.
This is my go-to blend for anything bone or muscle-related that hurts. It is like an all-natural icy-hot, and it brings immediate relief. I personally like the roller bottle as it’s much more convenient. I bruised my hip and my ribs, so I could just reach around easily and “draw” on my lower back with the roller bottle; same goes for ribs.
2. Frankincense and Copaiba internally.
Frankincense is the oil I take internally whenever I have a spill (by now I probably sound really clumsy which I swear I’m not, but I have had a couple of minor trips while out running, I blame the dog for at least one of them!). Frankincense has really beneficial effects helping to regulate inflammation. Copaiba is a newly released oil by doTERRA, I’ll give you more information on that later this week; but it also helps to regulate inflammation. So together, they’re a great team. I’ve been doing 4 drops of each in an empty capsule twice daily – that’s the higher end of daily dosing, but I’ll just do this dose for this week and then go back to 3 drops of each once daily for maintenance.
3. Epsom salts baths.
It’s so nice soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts. The magnesium sulfate is soothing to the muscles especially, helping to ease any spasms that happen around an area of pain and bruising. Sadly I have one of those tiny bath tubs that you can either have your legs in, or your body in, but not both, but I pretzeled myself the best I could and it did feel like it helped. I always say that when I grow up I want to have a huge big bathtub to soak in.
Arnica in homeopathic form is great for any kind of tissue damage – bruising, sprains, strains, breaks, post-surgical tissue healing etc. I get the little pellets of Arnica 30C, and take 3-4 pellets every few hours the first few days. I actually forgot about poor old Arnica at the beginning this time around, but then added it in and I think it helped. One can also get Arnica cream to use topically, or another favorite Traumeel that contains Arnica.
One of the best anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, curcumin should be part of any pain/ healing regimen. I got the pure capsules by Researched Nutritionals – their curcumin is in a highly absorbable form. I am taking 2 capsules of that 3x daily. There’s also another product of theirs I love called Soothe and Relaxx, which has curcumin, white willow and holy basil as anti-inflammatories, plus magnesium, malic acid, herbs for calming the nervous system, joint supports such as glucosamine and MSM. I love, love, love that formula, but for my acute situation I wanted to be able to get a higher, more concentrated dose of curcumin.
6. Chiropractic/ taping.
It was a few days before I could get in to see my chiropractor. By then I had wanted to get x-rays done, just to make sure nothing was broken, and thankfully it wasn’t. It was good to have those results back before seeing my chiro and getting adjusted. I knew my sacro-iliac joint was out of alignment, and my neck was pretty stiff, so she adjusted those and my SI pain reduced dramatically right away. My ribs then because the primary ongoing area and I knew that the bruising would take longer to go away. But she did tape them, and the difference I felt immediately was astonishing. The taping definitely gave them support and they were less sore after that.
Now it’s 8 days later; I’ve ridden twice, I’m back running yesterday and today, and while my ribs are still a bit achy, they’re not keeping me awake at night trying to find a comfy way to sleep. Who knows how long things would have taken without any intervention at all, but I’m pretty confident that my regimen helped – I could certainly feel when they had immediate effect along the way and helped reduce the pain.
In future I’ll just try to stay on, but given that some bumps and bruises are inevitable in life, it’s also nice to know what to reach for in those situations.