Along with ice, elevation and subsequent addition of heat, the following nutraceuticals will significantly speed your healing in the initial days and weeks after car accidents, sports injuries and other acute traumas.
Arnica– my favorite formulation is Traumeel (now only from health professional sources) or over the counter T-Relief. Essential post trauma, not just on the physical level but also the “shock” and emotional toll of an accident, surgery, dental procedures, etc. As or more effective than NSAIDS, with absolutely no side effects. Oral as sublingual tablets or tincture, and/or topical (rub on the skin) liniment. Acutely, use orally every hour or 2, taper down over days to 3-4 x daily. Topically, 3-4 times daily.
Bromelain– alone or in combination with anti-inflammatory herbs like curcumin (turmeric), boswellia, etc. Protein digesting enzyme derived from pineapple, need to use on an empty stomach one hour before meals, 2 hours after, usually first thing in AM and last at night. Good in acute or subacute conditions, especially in bruising, contusions and hematoma.
Glucosamine sulfate or hydrochloride- essential building block for connective tissue building and repair after injury (including spinal disc injuries), not just for arthritis and joint problems. In some cases more effective than NSAIDS and essentially no side effects! To load up, 1500 mg per day in divided doses for first few weeks, then can cut back to 1000 mg or 500 mg long term. Do not take with Chondroitin- never been proved to be more effective than Glucosamine alone, unnecessarily kills endangered sharks, and often causes GI upset.
Vitamin C. Not just for fighting colds and boosting immunity, also anti-inflammatory and essential for connective tissue healing. 1-2 grams/day in divided doses as maintenance.
Next month: Self Care for Inflammation