Sprains are quite common in all parts of the world. It is painful and can cause swelling, but does not cause dislocation. Although your ligaments can be quite tough, they can still be torn. They are elastic-like bands that connect your bones and joints into place. When you have a sprain, the fibers of your ligament tear apart, it can be a partial tear, or be totally torn apart.
An ankle sprain is the most common type of sprain. Athletes usually get this type of sprain when they fall down from a jump and twist their feet as they land. There are also wrist, thumb, and knee sprains that can get also pretty common. Swelling can happen really quickly when you get a sprain. Usually, the more painful and the more swelling means a more severe sprain. For most sprains, you can start initial treatment and first aid by yourself.
Doctors have devised a way to treat sprains. They call it the RICE method. Follow the RICE method to relieve yourself if you get a sprain.
Rest is important. You must rest the injured area and do not put weight. Doctors recommend not putting weight on the affected area for about 48-72 hours. If you have a sprain on your ankle, you may use crutches. You can also use a splint or a brace to help you. But total inactivity is uncalled for.
Ice the affected area. This is important to reduce the swelling. It is important that use ice the sprained area right after the accident and continue to apply cold pressure for about 15 to 20 minutes. Do this 4 to 8 times a day and continue doing this for 48 hours. Note that you should not apply a cold pack for too long because this may result in tissue damage.
Compress the area with a bandage or an elastic wrap. Elastic wraps and sleeves made from neoprene are the best to use for sprains.
Elevate the affected area. Elevating the injured limb is important because this stops the swelling. If possible, elevate the affected area above the heart to prevent or limit more swelling.
You can also consume over-the-counter medications to help you with the pain. medication s such as Advil, Motrin, or others are usually the choice for this. Sprains can heal in days, or take longer and extend to months. If you experience less pain and see that the swelling goes down, try using the injured limb. But be gentle about it. Note that you are not fully recovered yet and still testing the waters at this stage. If you are an athlete, it is important that you consult with a physical therapist to get you back in top shape. The medical professional can help you with the proper exercises that can optimize the healing process and reduce the chances of getting a sprain again.