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FIRST AID tips: TWISTS, SPRAINS, & STRAINS


Ankle and knee sprains are most common, but they’re not the only areas to watch. Follow these tips for twists, sprains and strains.

Evaluate

  • Minor sprains and strains can be treated at home using R.I.C.E (see below). For a more serious injury see a doctor.

R.I.C.E

  • “Rest, ice, compress and elevate” is the mantra for most sprained ligaments.

  • REST the sprained area—for example, by using a sling for the arm or crutches for the foot or knee. If you’ve strained a toe ligament, taping the injured toe to the toe next to it provides relief.

  • ICE the affected area for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day.

  • Wrap a COMPRESSION bandage lightly around the affected joint or limb, and if possible,

  • ELEVATE the area above the heart level to prevent swelling.

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever that also helps with inflammation such as ibuprofen. Continue R.I.C.E. for 48 hours, then gently resume your usual activities.

See a doctor

  • If you can’t move the injured limb or joint, if there is a “popping” noise with the injury, if there is numbness or significant swelling, pain or fever, if you’ve injured the limb or joint previously, or if pain doesn’t improve after a few days. .

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Sources: Mayoclinic.com and Webmd.com. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions regarding a medical condition.

 

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