Overview of a Sprain
Your most common sprain occurs to the wrist, knee, and ankle. However, a sprain can affect any part of the body. A sprain is classified as a stretch in the ligaments that connects to the bones.
If you are with someone who has a sprain, or you might have experienced a sprain yourself, there are various steps to apply to provide first aid:
- Make sure you and the casualty are safe and not in harm. This means you should also have protective gear (if you have available) so you don’t contaminate yourself with any infections the casualty might have.
- A sprain is normally not considered too severe where you actually need to phone for an ambulance. All you actually need to do is phone your GP if the sprain:
- Is extremely painful
- The person can’t stand or place their weight on the affected area
- Besides inflammation, the joint looks distorted
- The casualty has a hard time moving or walking
- The casualty can’t move more than four steps without feeling pain
- The person feels numb
- There are red streaks around the area of the injured part
- The area has been broken or sprained before
What Causes A Sprain
Some of the causes can be classified as:
- Trauma to the body
- Picking up items that are heavy
- Participating in sports
Symptoms of a Sprain
Some symptoms you will notice with a sprain include:
- The affected area will be swollen
- Mild to severe pain
- Protuberances surrounding the affected area
- The affected area will show signs of bruising
- There might be no feeling in the area or signs of numbness
- You unable to move the joint
Treating A Sprain
We normally use something called the RICE method:
- R – Rest the injured region and do not place any pressure on the area. A crutch can be used in the meantime if required.
- I – Ice the affected area with a cold pack or wrap some frozen peas in a towel and place on the affected area. Don’t place ice directly onto the skin. Put ice packs on the affected region every 20 minutes, eight times a day.
- C – Compress the area with a bandage. Compression bandages will help to reduce the swelling as much as possible. Anti-inflammatory meds can be taken if there is pain.
- E – Elevate the affected area if possible and make sure it is above the level of the heart, during the first 48 hours as this can help to reduce swelling.
You should chat to your GP if you can’t move the affected area or joint or the pain seems to get worse. Make sure you stay away from participating in your normal activities until the affected sprain has healed properly. Make sure you also warm-up properly before exercising and take it easy once the sprain is healed to avoid a reoccurrence.