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How to Treat Sprains Correctly

Sprains are common even among individuals who don’t play sports, however, a lot of people do not know how to treat it properly to prevent further injuries. Here are some things you should remember.

Sprains and Strains

Put simply, a sprain is an injury to the tissues that connect the bones in a joint, while a strain is an injury either to the muscle or the tissue that connects the bone to the muscle. This is why the most common sprains occur in the ankles and wrists, because of falls or trauma on the area that cause the joint to twist. As a result, the ligaments get torn or stretched, causing pain, bruising, and swelling.

Others might even hear of feel the ligaments pop and tear when the injury is severe. Consequently, the individual will not be able to use the affected area because of the intense pain. Strains on the other hand, can develop in a few days or occur suddenly if the muscles are overstretched. Although slightly less uncomfortable than the sprain, it can cause pain, weakness, spasms or cramping, swelling, and reduced mobility of the affected area.

Treating an Ankle Sprain

Mild sprains go away after a while, but for slightly severe injuries, proper treatment is needed to avoid long-term health problems. The severity of the ankle injury depends on which part is injured and how, such as, an inversion sprain, which happens when the ankle is rolled inward; and the eversion sprain in which the ankle is rolled outward. If you experience pain on the inner side of your injured ankle, it could indicate a more serious problem that needs attention from a doctor.

Severe pain and deformity could indicate a complete tearing of the ligament or bone fracture for example. For mild ankle sprains, resting the injured area will help it heal faster. You will be advised to use an ankle brace and put ice on the affected area at least 20 minutes a day. While resting, you should elevate your foot above the waist and use compression to lessen the swelling.

Treating a Wrist Sprain

Wrist sprain is common in athletes, that is why it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor to determine if any other part has also sustained an injury. Wrist sprain can cause weakness in the hand muscle, loss of wrist mobility, swelling, bruising, and pain.

Treatments for wrist sprain uses the similar methods for ankle sprains, but it should be assessed for its severity first. A torn ligament and bone fracture will require different treatment methods than a mild wrist sprain, which can be treated with a cast, adequate rest, application of an ice pack, and compression. Avoid moving the injured wrist too much until it has fully healed.

As a takeaway, treatment for mild to moderate sprain follows the RICE method, which means: rest, ice, compress, and elevate.