Video transcription

Hi, my name is Dr. Hans Delfo, Doctor of Chiropractic in Los Angeles, California. I want to talk a little bit about how to treat a swollen joint. Now, joints can become swollen for many different reasons. Some common reasons are overuse, injury, mal position of that joint or conditions such as arthritis that actually impinge into the joint space itself. Signs of a swollen joint include inflammation, redness, hot to the touch, or pain with movement and restricted movement. Now to treat a swollen joint there's a simple acronym to use. It's called R.I.C.E. Stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. So lets go through the steps one by one using the knee joint as an example. So, say you've twisted your knee and it has all those symptoms. It's hot to the touch, it's swollen, it's red and it hurts to move. Well lets start with rest. It's important for the first 24 to 48 hours to remove any weight bearing on that joint. This will help decrease further injury of that joint and allow it to heal as fast as possible. Next is ice. Ice is useful in removing inflammation of the joint. Inflammation is a physiological response of the body to protect that joint but it does decrease healing time. A good rule of thumb for ice is 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. And you want to make sure that you don't place the ice directly on the skin. There could be some soft tissue damage that may occur. Next is compression. Light compression on the area is important, it helps reduce the swelling. And it does help stabilize that joint as well. You don't want to put it on too tight, you don't want to restrict any circulation of blood or nerve. Lastly is elevation. Whenever possible it's important to elevate that joint above the level of the heart. This too will reduce inflammation and help speed healing time. When treating a swollen joint nutrition also is important. Certain foods have a pro inflammatory effect. Foods rich in trans or saturated fatty acids, foods high in nitrates such as lunch meats, hot dogs or sausages should be avoided. Foods that have that have an anti inflammatory effect are foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fish, nuts, seeds, and those are important to keep in your diet to help alleviate the swelling in the joint. This is Dr. Hans Delfo, and this has been how to treat a swollen joint.