How To Treat Sprains and Strains

Posted on February 23rd, 2016 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group


Unfortunately, injuries are a big part of sports, and even our everyday lives. If you sustain an injury, how you handle the immediate treatment has a big impact on how long your recovery will take. When it comes to immediate treatment, all you need to know is one acronym: RICE.


The first thing you should do after sustaining an injury is get off your feet, especially if it is an injury to the knee or ankle. Do not attempt to push through the pain or “walk it off”, as this will only set you back and make things worse in the long run. You should continue to rest as much as possible during the following days, and minimize movement and pressure on the injured area.


Cryotherapy, or treating an injury with low temperatures, is an effective way to reduce swelling and pain, especially with new injuries. When you suffer from a traumatic injury like spraining an ankle, the tissue around the area becomes inflamed and can compress nearby nerves, causing significant pain. Applying ice for 15 minutes at a time (and never directly to the skin) tightens your blood vessels, reducing the swelling and numbing your body.


Wrapping up your injury in an Ace bandage is a good way to promote faster recovery. Not only does it add stabilization, helping to prevent further injury, but the pressure it creates tightens blood vessels (like ice), reducing inflammation. Don’t wrap it too tight, though. If you begin to go numb or feel a tingling sensation, re-wrap the area a little looser.


Elevating the injury, or keeping it above your heart, cuts down on swelling. If you sprained your ankle, for instance, lay down on a bed or sofa and prop it up with a couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
If pain or swelling does not subside within three days, it is time to see a doctor. The orthopedic experts at OSG have been helping Connecticut residents overcome their injuries for decades. With three locations throughout Fairfield County and two urgent care centers, we have everything you need to get on the road to recovery. Call us today at (203) 337-2600 to schedule an appointment.