Whether it’s a twisted knee or a pain in the wrist, nearly everyone has experienced a sprain or a strain. When a ligament is overstretched, a sprain Symptoms include pain, rapid swelling and bruising of the joint, along with stiffness and trouble moving the affected area. Strains, or muscle pulls, occur when excessive stretching damages the muscle or the tendons. Symptoms include intense pain, followed by stiffness, tenderness and swelling in some cases.
Most sprains and strains heal in two to three weeks with the RICE treatment:
- Rest for 24 to 48 hours and avoid moving the affected area.
- Ice the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, four times a day during the first 48 hours, to reduce swelling.
- (Apply) Compression to the injury with an elastic band. Wrap loosely enough so it does not interfere with circulation.
- Elevate the injury above your heart with a sling or pillow, if possible.
Aspirin or ibuprofen can also help diminish pain and swelling.
Call your doctor if:
- Severe pain lasts more than two to three days.
- You feel a pop when you use the joint.
- You think you have a broken bone.
- There seems to be misalignment in the bones.
- You cannot move the affected area at all.
- You have trouble walking or moving.
Depend on Hill County Memorial for Expert Medical Information.
The HCM orthopedic program features a comprehensive approach to treating injuries and diseases of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. Our imaging department, anesthesiologists, technologists and rehab clinic will be there for you, every step of the way. For more information about orthopedic care for sports injuries and other joint issues, click here to learn more out HCM’s Orthopedic Team.