A sprain is an injury that causes a stretch or a tear in a ligament. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones at the joint. Sprains may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Measures for Self-Care:
The general rule for treating sprains is R-I-C-E:
- R for rest. Rest the joint! Avoid activities that cause pain. If you have an ankle sprain or knee sprain you may need crutches.
- I for ice. Apply ice and cool the injury to avoid swelling and every 3 to 4 hours. Do this for 2 to 3 days or until the swelling goes away. The ice will help to numb the pain.
- C for compression. Tie an elastic crepe bandage around the injured joint to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
- E for elevation. The injured part should be elevated so that gravity helps the circulatory system to reduce the swelling.
- You can also take pain-killers to reduce the pain.
- Symptoms of a severe sprain.
- If a mild sprain persists longer than 2 weeks.
- Pain, swelling or bruising worsens despite treatment.
Inability to move the limb or joint.