What are the treatments for the injury?
Apply the RICE technique: Rest, Ice, Compression and
Immobilization, and Elevation.
Rest means to restrict movement and weight-bearing in the
injured area. A splint can be used if necessary.
Ice refers to the application of an ice pack or cold compress
to the affected area.
Compression involves placing a bandage lightly around the
injured area to decrease swelling. Immobilization means to avoid unnecessary
activity of the affected area, particularly weight-bearing.
Elevation means to keep the injured area above the heart
Medications that reduce pain and inflammation, such
as aspirin or ibuprofen, may be taken. Aspirin should never be given to
children 19 years of age or younger, since it is associated with a disorder
known as Reye's syndrome.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Pain medications and
anti-inflammatory medications may cause stomach upset or allergic reaction.
What happens after treatment for the injury?
Most sprain injuries take from 4 to 6 weeks to heal. It is important to allow
these areas to heal fully and properly before going back to usual activities.
It is also important that the sprained area be protected for several months
after the injury, since there will be some weakness. Problems may worsen if the
injured area is not protected or if activity is resumed too soon after the
injury. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare