STRAINS AND SPRAINS

STRAINS, SPRAINS & SYMPTOMS

Your ligaments are tough, elastic-like bands that connect bone to bone and hold your joints in a place. A sprain is an injury to a ligament caused by tearing of the fibers of the ligament. The ligament can have a partial tear, or it can be completely torn apart.

FIRST AID TREATMENTS

Ankle sprains are the most common type of sprain. Wrist, knee and thumb sprains are also common. Sprained ligaments often swell rapidly and are painful. Generally, the greater the pain and swelling, the more severe the injury is. For most minor sprains, you probably can start initial injury treatment yourself.

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR R.I.C.E.

  • One can exercise other muscle groups  to minimize de-conditioning during  a sprain. For example, you can use an exercise bicycle with arm exercise handles working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle.
  • Rest the injured limb. Your doctor may recommend not putting any weight on the injured area for 48 to 72 hours, so you may need to use crutches. A splint or brace also may be helpful initially. But don’t avoid all activity.
  • Ice the area. Use a cold pack, a slush bath or a compression sleeve filled with cold water to help limit swelling after an injury. Try to ice the area as soon as possible after the injury and continue to ice for 15 to 20 minutes, four to eight times a day.

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