You may have a strain or a sprain if:
- You feel increasing pain
- You have difficulty moving the injured part
- Your strength has decreased
- You notice swelling around the area
What to Do:
- Stop activity right away.
- Think R.I.C.E. for the first 48 hours after the injury:
Rest: Rest the injured part until it’s less painful.
Ice: Wrap an ice pack or cold compress in a towel and place over the injury immediately. Continue for 15 minutes at a time, six to eight times a day.
Compression: Support the injury with an elastic compression bandage for at least 2 days.
Elevation: Raise the injured part above heart level to decrease swelling.
- Take ibuprofen for the pain and to reduce swelling.
- After 48 hours, apply a heating pad or moist heat three to four times a day.
Seek emergency medical care if:
- You have significant pain when the injured part is touched or moved
- You have trouble bearing weight after an injury
- There is increasing bruising
- You experience numbness or a feeling of “pins and needles” in the injured area
- A limb looks “bent” or misshapen
- There are signs of infection (Increasing warmth, redness, swelling, and pain)
- The strain or sprain doesn’t seem to be improving after 5 to 7 days
- Warm up properly and stretch before participating in any sports activity, and always wear appropriate protective equipment.