Great post, thanks Mary. I have come to realize that I need to attack from all angles. I'm grateful (through experience) that I am careful about what my body tells me and never push more than I can.
I have heard about tiger balm and I use a different kind of medicated plasters.
I'm knew to ICE and I was told by my doctor that I should apply it within 48 hours only, then I should use hot... I'm playing with that and that works well.
I will look into the Chinese medicines that you referred to, and will look into them, because frankly, my stomach is telling me to stop the anti inflammatory drugs.
I believe in the "shotgun method" for dealing with injuries: try several things that (generally speaking) help with this type of injury, and hopefully one or more will hit the target. The standard RICE prescription -- rest, ice, anti-inflammatory, elevation -- is an example of that. In addition, I like to add one or more Chinese patent medicines. I don't know if you can get any of these in Dubai, but I'm quite fond of Wu Yang plasters
, which do a good job at reducing inflammation. Tiger Balm, Kwan Loong oil, Taoist healing oil are also good topical remedies -- they don't do as good a job on the inflammation as the plasters, but they are more comforting on minor muscle aches. Yunnan baiyao is a Chinese patent medicine formula that's sold in various topical preparations (plasters and liniments) and also in a capsule form to be taken internally -- it's good for trauma of all sorts.
All of these things can help, but none of it is a magic bullet. The real key is to learn to listen to your body, to sense not just the severity but also the nature of the injury, and to know what stage it's at. Some kinds of pain mean, "I'm really aggravated and I do not want to be used now," others mean, "I'm cranky because I'm all stiff and I need gentle motion," some say, "I want ice," others say, "I want heat". Unfortunately, the only way to learn your body's signals is through painful experience. Listen to your body's signals, try different things, see what changes. Over time, you can develop self-care skills that will help you avoid many injuries and effectively treat the ones you have.