Injury refers to the damage caused to the body due to external forces. An injury can manifest in the form of cut, bruise, bleeding or swellings and is caused due to a fall, hit, accident or trauma. Injury can be both external as well as internal. Swelling is a normal response of the body to an injurious agent. In fact, swelling is seen as a result of the defence mechanism of the body due to the initiation of an inflammatory response.

While swelling may vary in severity, location and characteristics, it generally describes an area of inflammation with an increased blood flow and accumulation of fluids. This is what is responsible for redness, heat and enlargement of the injured area in size, which are the typical signs of inflammation.

Swelling can be acute or chronic. It is acute when it is manifested immediately within 24 hours and becomes chronic when the symptoms develop gradually after an injury.

Severe cases of both these types of swelling require immediate medical attention but mild cases of swelling can be easily managed at home, provided there is no underlying pathology.

This article will share the best of these home remedies with you.

  1. Home remedies to reduce swelling due to injury
  2. Important tips to remember

There are several ways in which you can manage swelling caused due to injury right at home. The best way is to make the use of a cold compress or soak your feet in a cold water bath, which forms the first line management of a swelling. Others include certain oils and packs, which will be explored in this section.

Ice packs to reduce swelling due to injury

The simplest way to manage a swelling at home is by the application of ice packs to the affected area. Swelling is one of the first apparent signs of inflammation, which is also marked by a local rise in temperature.

Use of ice packs will help to reduce pain and swelling in the injured area and will also assist in its functional recovery, which is why ice packs are most commonly applied after an acute injury. Several studies have also demonstrated that ice packs help in reducing pain and swelling at the injury site.

During the first 72 hours of the injury and the manifestation of swelling, it is recommended to place ice packs at the site of the injury for a duration of 20 minutes. An hourly application may be required until the symptoms persist. Do not place the ice pack to the site of injury for a prolonged duration as this may aggravate swelling, which is not desirable. Use this remedy 7 to 8 times a day.

It is important to note that an ice pack must not be directly applied to the site of injury as it can cause damage. Always make the use of a cloth or a towel along.

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Cold compression to reduce swelling due to injury

Instead of an ice pack, you can make the use of a cold compress for the management of injury-related swellings. While the method and duration of application remain the same, cold compress is more effective. This is because it applies pressure to the wound site, which favours the alleviation of swelling.

Elastic wraps are a good way to hold ice packs to the site of the injury. But, a cold compress can be formed at home with the help of a simple bandage, which is applied firmly to the site.

Cold compresses are effective in the management of swelling since they suppress the metabolic rate and the enzymatic activity of the injury site and the surrounding area. This helps to prevent tissue damage.

Further, the application of a cold stimulus aids in vasoconstriction of the area. This reduces excessive blood flow responsible for heat and swelling in the surrounding area.

Since these effects last only for half an hour after the cessation of swelling, it is recommended to make the use of a cold compress at every hour. However, it must not be kept for more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid unwanted effects.

Elevation to reduce swelling due to leg injury

Swelling is a common symptom of an injury to the leg, which may often be difficult to manage due to the effect of gravitational forces. The simplest and the most commonly employed home remedy is to elevate the site of the swelling to aid in venous return to the heart. Due to injury, the vascular functioning of the area is often affected, which causes fluid retention at the site.

Leg swellings can be managed by placing a small pillow under your leg or feet before sleeping to aid the backflow of the blood. It is important that your feet are raised above the level of your heart to facilitate this process.

While sitting, ensure that your feet are not hanging down and are adequately rested.

Adequate rest to reduce swelling due to leg injury

Rest is immensely important to reduce swelling and allow healing. While exercise and movements may be essential at a later stage for the complete healing of the site, they are not indicated immediately, especially if the swelling is severe.

Adequate rest to the site means that you limit its movement. The use of a bandage aids this process and also protects further damage to the injured tissue.

For relief, you can wrap a compression bandage to the area of the swelling. Just make sure to not wrap it too tight.

Studies have found that the application of compression bandage to the leg helps in alleviating pain and oedema within 8 hours along with an improvement in patient comfort.

Turmeric to reduce swelling after injury

Turmeric is a wonder herb. Who does not know about the healing properties of turmeric? A common kitchen ingredient, the benefits of turmeric are known to humankind since ancient times and its use is very common, especially in India.

Turmeric is a significant wound healing agent with its mention in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine texts. Further, it has a healing effect due to the regulation of inflammatory enzymes and cytokines, which will additionally aid in healing wounds.

Turmeric powder is completely safe for use and can be used in the dosage of 400 to 600 mg daily. This needs to be divided into 3 to 4 portions during the day.

But, turmeric can also be directly used for its wound healing benefits in the following manner:

Turmeric packs

You can easily make a turmeric pack at home with the help of two simple ingredients: ground turmeric and some bandage. Just follow these steps:

  • Take 2-3 teaspoons of ground turmeric depending on the size of your swelling.
  • Start adding water until it forms a thick paste.
  • Carefully apply this to the swelling with clean hands.
  • Cover it with a bandage to hold it in place.
  • Let the pack sit for about 12 hours.
  • Use this pack for 3 days. You will surely notice a reduction in the size of your swelling.

Turmeric milk

Turmeric milk, also called ‘golden milk’ due to its immense healing properties, is an excellent remedy for swelling and injury. Plus, it tastes delicious.

To make turmeric milk, simply take half a teaspoon of turmeric and add it to a cup of warm milk. Sip this before bedtime to aid in swelling reduction.

Though turmeric is a powerful healing agent, overuse of this herb needs to be avoided since it can be immensely heating for your body. Take care to not use it more than these specified dosages.

Also, turmeric pack must not be applied to the swelling within the first 72 hours due to its warm energetics. Only ice packs must be used at the initial stage.

Eucalyptus oil to reduce swelling due to injury

Eucalyptus oil is derived from the leaves of eucalyptus plant which belongs to the family Myrtaceae. Eucalyptus plant is widely grown in India, particularly in the Southern areas and its oil has significant anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which make it an ideal healing agent for injuries and swelling. Its anti-inflammatory properties aid reduction of swelling while its antibacterial properties help to avoid any infections at the wound site.

Additionally, eucalyptus has a cooling effect on the body, which works wonderfully for swellings. Along with its antioxidant effects that suppress oedema, it immensely provides relief from injury swelling and pain.

Simply take some eucalyptus oil and gently rub it on your swelling site.

You can also add it to your cold compress pack to enhance its actions.

Another way to use eucalyptus for swelling due to injury is by opting for eucalyptus essential oil, which is easily available online. Take a few drops of this essential oil and add it to a bath containing cold water. Dip your towel in this solution and apply it to the affected site after draining excess water.

In case of leg swelling, a better option is to directly dip your feet in this cold water bath.

Green tea to reduce swelling after injury

If you are a health enthusiast, you may already be aware of the benefits of green tea. It has a significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect, which can help to alleviate swelling. It has even found to be effective in the process of wound healing. But, how do you use green tea for swelling reduction?

Apply cold teabags to the site of your swelling. This will help in providing some relief. Dipping swollen feet in a green tea bath with cold water is equally effective. Other than this, drinking green tea may also be helpful.

Home remedies work wonders for reducing swelling after injury, but there are certain things you must keep in mind.

  • After a recent injury, it is very important to adequately rest the area. Avoid any movements for the first three days, following which, it is recommended to resume normal movements to aid in healing. If the swelling persists after this duration and there is immense difficulty in movement, it could be a medical concern and it is important to see your doctor in this case.
  • A more severe swelling after injury could be due to a sign of fracture or strain, so, you must not ignore and seek medical help. These tips work for only mild swellings.
  • For the first three days, it is immensely important to take care of the site and allow it to cool down. Thus, any heat packs, compresses or dipping your feet in hot water must be avoided.
  • Other than this, it is important that you avoid massaging the swollen site. Massaging increases blood flow, which may worsen the symptoms of your swelling, particularly at an initial stage.
  • While using eucalyptus or any cooling oil, make sure to gently apply it to the site with the help of a cotton pad and adequately bandage the area. Do not massage or rub the oil.
  • Applying a firm bandage is important just like cold compression but aforementioned care must be taken with both.


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