Keeping oneself fit is one of the main goals for a sportsperson. In the process, it is quite natural to overuse muscles and joints. Overuse is one of the most common etiological factors that lead to injuries in sportsperson, especially athletes. Overuse injuries and inflammation due to the overuse of skeletal muscles are prevalent along with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Naturopathy is one of the popular complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy being widely used as a lifestyle clinic model throughout the country. Naturopathy encompasses various non-invasive treatment modalities including acupuncture, chromotherapy, chiropractice, diet therapy, hydrotherapy, massage, mud therapy, etc. Most of the well-established treatment modalities have been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation. Mud therapy and hydrotherapy are a couple of treatment modalities that are not brought to the limelight and the common public are unaware of the benefits of these treatments.
Hydrotherapy uses water at different temperatures (as ice, cold water, hot water, or even steam) at different parts of the body to get the desired results. For example, ice or ice-cold water application is beneficial in acute inflammatory conditions and prevent DOMS while hot water application or steam helps in reducing pain due to chronic inflammation.
Similarly, mud bath or simple mud application to a local area in the body reduces inflammation. The benefit of which is particularly profound in osteoarthritis. Mud therapy reduces pain, inflammation, functional limitation, anti-inflammatory drug consumption, and also the quality of life in knee osteoarthritis. In mud therapy, the water used can be of varying temperature depending upon the nature of inflammation. For example, balneotherapy using hot water springs reduces lower back pain, showing improvements in the back extensor test, modified Schober’s test, and Oswestry disability index.
Naturopathy could thus be of wonderful use, in combination with other natural treatment modalities like diet, yoga, acupuncture, and components of naturopathic medicine in the management of inflammation due to overuse or related sports injuries.
Dr. V Venugopal BNYS, MSc Diabetes (UK), MSc (Yoga), PhD
LinkedIn: Dr. Venugopal Vijayakumar