Sprains and Strains
Common muscle and ligament injuries are sprains or strains, which can often be treated at home without seeing a doctor. After 2 weeks, most sprains or strains will start to feel better but avoid any strenuous exercise for up to 8 weeks after to avoid any further risk of damage. Severe strains or sprains can take months to return to normal so if it is still causing you pain avoid putting too much pressure on it.
- Pain, tenderness or weakness around your ankle, foot, wrist, thumb, knee, leg or back
- Swelling or bruising on the injured area
- You are unable to put weight on the injury or use it normally
- You have muscle spasms or cramping – particularly where your muscles painfully tighten on their own
After any strain or sprain, in the first couple of days you must use RICE therapy to minimise any swelling and support the injury.
- Rest – don’t continue exercising or activities that require you to put weight on the injury
- Ice – Apply an ice pack to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours – Thermapearl have a range of hot and cold packs that can be used with straps attached to make the wrap hold in place
- Compression – use a bandage or support to support the injury
- Elevate – ensure that the injury is raised to prevent further swelling
If you are finding it painful there are a range of tablets, creams or gel that you can rub on
Get medical help if the injury is not getting any better after over 8 weeks, if the pain or swelling is getting worse or you have a high temperature and feel hot and shivery as this could be an infection.