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Treatment for migraine

October 18th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for migraine)

A migraine headache causes concentrated throbbing or a pulsing sensation felt in one region of the head along with nausea, vomiting as well as sensitivity to certain sounds and lights. Migraine attacks can last for hours up to days and it can be severe. Some cases of migraine are accompanied by sensory warning symptoms also known as an aura such as flashes of light, tingling in the arms and legs and a blind spot.

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A migraine headache begins during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, and there are four stages of migraine namely prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome. Some people cannot experience these four stages of migraine.

An aura can occur before or during migraine attacks and there are nervous system symptoms such as visual disturbances like flashes of light. Sometimes, the auras are touching sensations or sensory, movement or speech as well as verbal disturbances. The symptoms begin gradually and become severe for several minutes and last for 20 to 60 minutes.

Migraine

Migraine attacks can last for hours up to days and it can be severe. Some cases of migraine are accompanied by sensory warning symptoms also known as an aura such as flashes of light, tingling in the arms and legs and a blind spot.

An untreated migraine can last from 4-72 hours but the frequency varies from person to person. During a migraine attack, an individual can experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain that is pulsating and throbbing
  • Pain on one side or both sides of the head
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to sounds, light and even certain smells
  • Individual experiences nausea, vomiting, light-headedness and sometimes fainting

Causes

  • Hormonal changes in women such as the rise and fall in estrogen will cause headaches. Some women suffer migraine attacks before or during their monthly periods but some women can suffer from migraines during pregnancy and menopause.
  • Some hormonal medications such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy can worsen migraines in women.
  • Salty foods, aged cheese and processed foods can also cause migraines.
  • Skipping or fasting from meals can cause migraines
  • Food additives like sweeteners and monosodium glutamate found in foods can also cause migraines
  • Drinking wine and alcohol
  • Stress from home and work
  • Bright lights and glares of sun, unusual smell such as perfumes, paint thinner, second hand smoke as well as exposure to loud sounds
  • Changes in the weather conditions

Treatment and home remedies

  • Perform exercises for muscle relaxation such as meditation and yoga to help minimize pain caused by migraines.
  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Apply an ice compress on the forehead and place both feet in warm water. You can learn more about this treatment by enrolling in a first aid course.
  • Encourage the individual to drink juices that contain vitamin C especially tomato juice which can help get rid of migraines.
  • Gently massage the head, face and neck. Apply gentle pressure at the back of the neck at 2 minutes at a time and slowly release and repeat the procedure.
  • Avoid getting stressed at home or work.
  • Perform aerobic exercises in order to reduce tensions to minimize migraine attacks.

Treatment for swimmer’s itch

October 18th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for swimmer’s itch)

Cercarial dermatitis is another name for swimmer’s itch which is an allergic reaction that can happen on the surface of the skin. A parasite that thrives in ponds and lakes causes this kind of allergy. The snails that lives in the ponds and lakes ingests the parasite cercaria and releases it into the water and digs into the human skin and make it their next host, also birds can become host of this parasite. The human skin is not a suitable environment thus they quickly die and leave behind an irritating rash known as the swimmer’s itch.

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Some irritation from the parasites starts to develop anytime within 12 hours after swimming. The skin will experience some tingle and itchiness and small-sized bumps starts to manifest in the affected areas. If the bumps occurred in the legs and arms, they will become swollen.

Shallow lake or ponds are the most common places where an individual can be infected by a parasite known as cercaria that causes a swimmer’s itch since it is where the infected snails live but any open body of water can still harbor these parasites. Swimmer’s itch is common during summer where some people love to swim in rivers or lakes. Clean and well-maintained swimming pools are the best and safe places to swim during summer. Water in the ponds and rivers can still stay infected until the parasites cannot anymore continue their life cycle and just dies out. Swimmer’s ear can heal on its own in a couple of days. If you want to learn more about the condition, read here.

Swimmer's itch

Wet or dampen a clean washcloth with cool water and spread the damp cloth over the itchy areas.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Apply calamine lotion over the affected areas
  • Take over-the-counter antihistamines in order to minimize swelling and itchiness.
  • Wet or dampen a clean washcloth with cool water and spread the damp cloth over the itchy areas.
  • Mix water and baking soda to make a paste then spread it over the affected areas using a tongue depressor in order to minimize the itchiness.
  • Soak in a lukewarm bath with a mixture of 1 to 2 cups of oatmeal or dissolve an Epsom salts in the bath to relax the body caused by the itchiness.

Prevention of swimmer’s itch

Avoid swimming in areas where it is infested by cercaria parasites usually in shallow lakes and ponds and the water is warm usually during the summer season. The most common host of the parasites includes birds such as ducks or geese thus avoid swimming in areas where these birds are present.

One option is killing the parasites found in small ponds and river by using chemicals such as copper sulphate or copper carbonate. Another way is placing a drug for the treatment of parasites into the food of birds. When the birds eat the food, the chemicals will kill the parasites inside their bodies.

Remove all vegetation around ponds and lakes since it is the ideal place for the parasites to grow and avoid attracting birds to areas where people usually go swimming.

Treatment for lichen planus

October 18th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for lichen planus)

Lichen planus is a condition that causes inflammation of the skin and the mucous membranes. The appearance is purplish in color, itchy and has even-topped lumps. Lichen planus produces lace-like white patches and painful sores that can be found in the mouth, vagina as well as other areas of the body that are covered by mucous membrane.

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Lichen planus occurs when the immune system of the body attacks the cells of the skin or the mucous membranes. If lichen planus cause severe itching and pain, there is a need for medications in order to suppress the immune system.

Symptoms of lichen planus

Signs and symptoms of lichen planus usually depends on the areas that are affected by the condition.

  • A purplish, flat-topped bump can be found in the inner forearm, wrist and ankles but can also develop in the external genitals.
  • Painful ulcers can be found in the mouth and vagina
  • Itchiness
  • Blisters that breaks and formation of scabs or crusts
  • Discoloration of the scalp and hair loss
  • White spots or patches can be found in the mouth, inside the cheek or on the gums as well as the lips and tongue.
  • Nail loss and damage
Lichen planus

Painful ulcers can be found in the mouth and vagina

Causes

Certain diseases and medical conditions along with other factors can cause lichen planus such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C infections, flu vaccine, pigments like chemical and metals, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Medications for heart disease, high blood pressure or arthritis can also cause lichen planus. Any individual can develop lichen planus but middle-aged adults are more susceptible to develop these infections.

Treatment and home remedies

  • If there is a presence of oral rash caused by lichen planus, the individual should avoid eating crunchy foods, zesty foods and all products made out of tomatoes. Drink only decaffeinated drinks.
  • Use colloidal oatmeal while soaking in a warm bath. This should be done for several days to help minimize the itchiness caused by lichen planus. By enrolling in a first aid class, you can effective manage this condition.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected areas to make the rash cool and minimize the itchiness.
  • Apply topical ointments such as hydrocortisone cream that contain 1 percent hydrocortisone since this helps in keeping the rash moist and also reduce the itchiness.
  • Some over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl can help in reducing severe itchiness caused by lichen planus.
  • Flossing and brushing the teeth can help in reducing the signs and symptoms caused by lichen planus.

Other treatment options for infections caused by lichen planus include a sulfur-based bath, taking vitamin supplements, eating fruits and vegetables, taking cod liver oil supplements which is a source of Vitamins A and D as well as using topical and oral herbal medications such as aloe vera gel, lavender and tea tree oil.

How to treat blepharitis

October 18th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat blepharitis)

Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids usually the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. Blepharitis develops when the tiny oil glands that are found near the base of the eyelashes do not function properly and this condition will cause inflammation, irritation and itchy eyelids.

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Symptoms of blepharitis

  • Gritty and burning sensation experienced in the eye
  • Watery and red-colored eyes
  • Crusted eyelashes upon waking up in the morning
  • The eyelids appears greasy and itchy
  • The skin surrounding the eyes are flaking
  • Eyelashes that grows abnormally or misdirected eyelashes as well as loss of eyelashes
  • Eyelids that are sticky, red in color and swells
  • Sensitivity to light and frequent blinking
Blepharitis

Blepharitis develops when the tiny oil glands that are found near the base of the eyelashes do not function properly and this condition will cause inflammation, irritation and itchy eyelids.

Causes of blepharitis

  • Bacterial infections
  • Malfunctioning of the oil glands in the eyelids
  • Seborrheic dermatitis also known as dandruff of the scalp and the eyebrows
  • Mites or lice in the eyelashes
  • A skin condition that is characterized by facial redness also known as rosacea.
  • Allergies including allergic reactions to some eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup.
  • Isotretinoin which is a strong acne medication can cause an increase of bacteria in the eyelids and can also affect the production of tears.

People suffering from blepharitis can experience falling out or abnormal growth of the eyelashes or misdirected eyelashes. A scarring can happen in the eyelids caused by a long term blepharitis. There is abnormal secretion of oil and other debris coming from the eyelid such as flaking caused by dandruff, oil, water and mucus solution that will form a tear. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.

There is also difficulty in wearing contact lenses. A sty is an infection that develops at the base of the eyelashes and will result to a lump that is painful and found at the edge of the eyelid. Another condition is a chalazion which develops when one of the oil glands found at the margin of eyelid is blocked. The gland can be infected with bacteria and will cause red and swelling eyelids. Blepharitis can also cause pink eye or conjunctivitis. Lastly, constant irritation of inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes can cause a sore or ulcer that develops on the cornea.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Applying a warm compress on the closed eye for several minutes in order to loosen the crusty deposits on the eyelids.
  • Use a washcloth that is moistened with warm water and put a few drops of any baby shampoo to wash away any oil debris or scales that are found at the base of the eyelashes.
  • Oftentimes, there is a need to clean the edge of the eyelid where the eyelashes are found. All you have to do is to gently pull the eyelid away from the eye and wash it gently using a washcloth since this will help avoid damage to the cornea with the use of a washcloth.
  • Rinse the eyelid using warm water and pat it dry with a clean and dry towel.
  • Continue the treatment until signs and symptoms disappear and stop using makeup when the eyelids are still swelling. Makeup can cause bacteria to develop which can cause an allergic reaction.

Treatment for acute sinusitis

October 18th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for acute sinusitis)

Acute sinusitis causes the cavities found around the nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen which interferes with the drainage and cause the build-up of mucus.

There is difficulty in breathing through the nose, the areas found around the eyes and face is swelling along with throbbing facial pain and a headache. Acute sinusitis can also be caused by common cold, allergies, fungal and bacterial infections.

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Symptoms of acute sinusitis

  • Nasal obstruction or congestion that will cause difficulty in breathing through the nose.
  • Thick, yellow or greenish discharge coming from the nose or down at the back of the throat.
  • There is a reduced sense of taste and smell
  • A cough that attacks during night time
  • There is tenderness, pain, pressure and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and the forehead.
  • Fatigue and fever
  • An aching sensation in the upper jaw and teeth as well as bad breath
  • Headache and ear pain
Acute sinusitis

Nasal obstruction or congestion that will cause difficulty in breathing through the nose.

Causes

  • An acute sinusitis can be caused by a viral infection like common cold.
  • When the upper respiratory tract infection last longer than 7-10 days, it can be caused by a bacterial infection.
  • If the individual has sinus abnormalities or an immune system that is weakened, it can be caused by fungal infections.

Some health conditions that can cause acute sinusitis infections include the following:

  • Some allergies such as hay fever which is an inflammation that happens with allergies that causes the blockage of the sinuses.
  • Tumors or nasal polyps are tissue growths that causes blockage of the nasal passages or sinuses.
  • A deviated nasal septum which is a crooked septum causes restriction or blockage of the sinus passages.
  • Acute sinusitis can also be caused by tooth infections.
  • GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition that can cause blockage of the sinuses or make the individual susceptible to infection.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Drink plenty of fluids such as juice or water to help dilute secretions of mucus and promote drainage. The individual should avoid beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine since they can cause dehydration and alcohol can worsen the swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose.
  • The individual should get plenty of rest to help fight infection and as well as promote faster recovery.
  • Drape a towel over the forehead as the person breathes in the vapor of the hot water from a bowl, just make sure to keep the vapor toward the face. The individual can also breathe in warm and moist air when taking a hot shower bath to help minimize pain and promote mucus drainage.
  • Apply warm compresses on the face, nose, cheek, and eyes to minimize facial pains. If you want to learn more about these treatment options, click here.
  • Clean the nasal passages by using a specially designed squeeze bottle or sinus rinse to clean the nasal passages.
  • When sleeping, the head should be elevated to help with the drainage of the sinuses and minimize the congestion.

Prevention of acute sinusitis

  • Avoid upper respiratory infection such as colds. Wash the hands with soap and water before eating a meal.
  • Treat allergy infections
  • Avoiding inhaling cigarette smoke and polluted air
  • Install a humidifier at home to add moisture in the air in order to prevent sinusitis.

Proper management for poisonous spider bites

October 10th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Proper management for poisonous spider bites)

Some spiders are dangerous to humans. The two spiders that are highly poisonous include the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. They both prefer warm climates and dark and dry places where there is plenty of flies, but they sometimes live in dry, littered areas that are undisturbed like closets, piles of wood and under sinks.

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Black widow spider bites are not very lethal. It has a red hourglass mark found in its belly and the bites of this spider is like a prick of a pin and the person cannot feel that he/she has been bitten. There is a presence of a slight swelling and a faint red mark in the affected area. Within an hour, intense pain and stiffness will begin and some symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, chills, fever and severe abdominal pain.

The brown recluse spider has a violin-shaped marking found in its back and the bites can cause mild stinging that is followed by redness of the affected area and intense pain within eight hours. A blister will form that is filled with fluid at the affected area, then it will sloughs off leaving a deep, enlarging ulcer. Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite include a mild fever and a rash. The individual who has been bitten by the spider can experience nausea and listlessness. Oftentimes, death can occur among children.

Spider bite

The affected area should be cleaned well with soap and water. Apply cold compress over the affected area.

If bitten by a spider, first identify the type of spider that bit the person. The affected area should be cleaned well with soap and water. Apply cold compress over the affected area. If the affected area is on the extremities, elevate it. Provide Tylenol and antihistamines to relieve signs and symptoms that occur in adults. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn how to handle a bite from these spiders.

If bitten by brown recluse or black widow spider, the following must be done:

  • Cleanse the wound using soap and water as well as the skin surrounding the affected area.
  • If the person was bitten in the arm or leg, place a secure yet comfortable bandage above the affected area and raise the limb in order to slow down or stop the spread of the venom. Do not tie the bandage too tight since it will cut the circulation of the arm and leg.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected area
  • If the bite needs an anti-venom medication, seek medical help.

Preventing a spider bite

Black widows are not aggressive and will not usually bite humans unless people will destroy their webs or brush up against them, thus individuals especially children must be familiar and should avoid the black widow spider. This is the best way to prevent a bite. People should be vigilant in dark, secluded areas where there are many spiders such as the garage, attics, closets and piles of wood. People should watch out for spiders when in public or outdoor bathroom facilities, while on picnic or camping since these areas are where people get bitten by these spiders.

Treating menstrual cramps

October 3rd, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating menstrual cramps)

Menstrual cramps also known as dysmenorrhea are agonizing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen and they are experienced before and during the menstrual period. Menstrual cramps are considered severe in some cases that they interfere with the regular activities of the individual for a few days every month. Menstrual cramps can be caused by conditions like endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

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Symptoms of menstrual cramps

  • The presence of dull and constant aches
  • An agonizing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen that may become intense
  • Pain that goes to the lower back and thigh
  • Some women may experience nausea, headache, dizziness and a loose stools
Menstrual cramps

An agonizing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen that may become intense

Causes of menstrual cramps

During the menstruation period, the uterus causes contraction to expel its lining. A hormone-like substance known as prostaglandins that generates the uterine muscle contraction and causes pain and inflammation, but high levels of prostaglandins can cause a more severe menstrual cramp.

A severe  contraction can constrict the blood vessels that feeds the uterus which results to pain that is similar to one that is experienced in chest pain that happens when a blocked blood vessels does not have enough flow of oxygen to the blood. Menstrual cramps can also be caused by the following:

  • Uterine fibroids – are non-cancerous growths found in the walls of the uterus that will cause pain
  • Endometriosis – is a painful condition where the tissue that is lining the uterus is implanted on the outside of the uterus usually in the fallopian tubes, ovaries or tissues that line the pelvis. It can also cause menstrual cramps.
  • Adenomyosis – is a condition where the tissues lining the uterus grow on the muscular walls of the uterus.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease – an infection of the reproductive organs of females and caused by a sexually transmitted bacteria. It can also cause menstrual cramps.
  • Cervical stenosis – a condition where the opening of the cervix is so small, that it minimizes the menstrual flow, causing painful pressure inside the uterus.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Take over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen. Take the pain reliever at the beginning of the menstrual period and continue taking the pain reliever for two to three days or until symptoms subside.
  • Take oral birth control pills that contain hormones in preventing ovulation and minimize the severity of menstrual cramps.
  • Encourage the individual to perform exercises every day to minimize the pain of menstrual cramps.
  • Soak in a hot bath or use a heating pad, hot water bottle or a heat patch that will be placed in the lower abdomen since it can minimize the menstrual cramps. If you want to learn more about the effectiveness of heat, click here.
  • Take some dietary supplement like vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids; thiamine and magnesium supplements since they can reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Minimize the use of alcohol and tobacco since these can make menstrual cramps worse.
  • Reduce the stress level since it causes an increase of risk of having menstrual cramps and its severity.

How to treat corneal abrasions

October 3rd, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat corneal abrasions)

Abrasion of the cornea is one of the most prevalent injuries affecting the eye. The cornea is the lucid, shielding “window” located at the anterior part of the eye.  Dust, dirt, sand, shavings of wood, particles of metal or an edge of a piece of paper can cause abrasions or cuts in the cornea and if it becomes infected, it can result to a corneal ulcer which is a dangerous condition. Corneal abrasion that is caused by a pine needle will cause a delayed inflammation within the eye which is known as iritis.

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An individual can scratch the cornea in many ways like a tree branch strikes an individual in the face, being accidentally punched in the eye while playing with children or while engaging in any sports activity. Additionally, if there is something blown into the eyes or enters the eye such as paint chips, pieces of wood, grains of sand and metal fragments. Take note that all of these can cause corneal abrasions. By enrolling in a first aid class, you can learn more how to handle this condition.

Symptoms

A symptom of a scratched cornea is feeling as if there is something inside the eye. Other symptoms include eyes becoming prone to produce tears, blurred vision or in extreme cases, loss of vision. The eyes are also sensitive to light and tend to squint due to the sensitivity to light.

Corneal abrasion

A symptom of a scratched cornea is feeling as if there is something inside the eye. Other symptoms include eyes becoming prone to produce tears, blurred vision or in extreme cases, loss of vision.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Rinse the eye with clean water using saline solution if available. Use an eyecup or small drinking glass and position the rim resting on the bone at the base of the eye socket. By rinsing the eye, it washes out foreign objects out of the eye.
  • The individual should blink the eye several times since this movement removes small particles like dust or sand.
  • Pull the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid and the lashes of the lower eyelid will brush away the particles from the under surface of the upper eyelid.
  • Avoid removing embedded objects in the eyeball and avoid removing large objects that can make it difficult for the eyes to close eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing the eyes after an injury. Touching and pressing the eye can cause the abrasion on the cornea to worsen.
  • Do not touch the eyeball with tweezers, cotton swabs or other tools since this can make corneal abrasion worse. A minor corneal abrasion usually heals within 24 to 48 hours.
  • If rinsing of the water does not work, use artificial tears or lubricants. These are used by people with contact lenses in helping relieve dry eyes, but it can help in flushing out particles and provides a soothing relief to scratched corneas. Avoid wearing the contact lenses until the symptoms are completely healed.
  • An over-the-counter pain reliever can also help in minimizing the pain.
  • Resting the eyes can help in minimizing the symptoms of an eye abrasion. Reading or looking around it requires moving of the cornea which causes further irritation and damage. Instruct the individual to close the eye in a dark room for a short period of time to help the eyes heal.

Treating knee pain

October 3rd, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in First Aid Injury Assessment - (Comments Off on Treating knee pain)

Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. It can be a result of an injury, like a ligament that is torn and a ruptured ligament. Some medical conditions like arthritis, gout and some infections can also cause knee pain. Knee problems and some injuries occur during sports or recreational activities, home tasks as well as activities that are work related.

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The knees are the largest joints of the body and there are two discs also known as menisci that separate the upper and the lower bones of the knee. The ligaments, tendons and the muscles function in connecting the femur which is the upper bone leg while tibia and fibula are the lower leg bones. The articular cartilage covers the bone surface present inside the knee joint which helps absorb shock and provide a smooth, gliding surface for the movement of the joints. It is best that you are prepared to manage this condition by enrolling in a first aid course today.

Symptoms of knee pain

  • There is instability and weakness
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • There is redness and warmth sensation when touched
  • A popping sound and crunching noise
  • Difficulty in straightening the knees
Knee pain

Knee problems and some injuries occur during sports or recreational activities, home tasks as well as activities that are work related.

Causes of knee pain

  • Tendons or fluid-filled sacs called bursa, ligaments that cover the knee joint can be affected by a knee injury and also the cartilage, ligaments and bones that form the joints can also be affected by injuries.
  • An injury of the anterior cruciate ligament which is the tearing of one of the four ligaments that function in connecting the shinbone to the thighbone. This injury is common in people who play soccer, basketball and other sports that require sudden change in directions.
  • A torn meniscus which is a tough and rubbery cartilage that function in absorbing shock between the shinbone and the thighbone. It will tear due to sudden twisting of the knee while bearing weight on it.
  • Some knee injuries can cause inflammation in the bursa which is the small sacs of fluid that function in cushioning the outside part of the knee joint so that the tendons and ligaments can glide smoothly over the joint.
  • Knee pain can also cause tendinitis which is the irritation and inflammation of one of the tendons which is a thick and fibrous tissue that is responsible in attaching muscles to the bones. People who are susceptible to these injuries are skiers, cyclist and people who play sports that require jumping.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Take a rest for a day or two from normal activities in order to reduce repetitive strain on the knee.
  • Apply some ice packs to minimize the pain and inflammation like a bag of frozen peas is best because it covers the whole knee for about 20 minutes.
  • Applying compression to help prevent the build-up of fluids to the damaged tissues and maintain knee alignment and stability.
  • For the swelling, elevate the injured leg on a pillow or sit in a reclining chair.