Video:Treat Muscle Strains and Sprainswith Elizabeth Quinn
Learn how to properly treat strains and sprains, so you can heal faster and feel better.See Transcript
Transcript:Treat Muscle Strains and SprainsThe treatment of muscle sprains and strains has two main goals. The first goal is to reduce swelling and pain, the second is to speed recovery and rehabilitation. To reduce swelling it is recommended to follow R.I.C.E. therapy, that is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. An over the counter (or prescription) anti-inflammatory medication may also help decrease pain and inflammation.
RestReduce regular exercise or other activities as much as you can. Your doctor may advise you to put no weight on an injured area for 48 hours. If you cannot put weight on an ankle or knee, crutches may help.
IceApply an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. To avoid cold injury and frostbite, do not apply the ice for more than 20 minutes.
CompressionCompression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce swelling. Examples of compression bandages are elastic wraps, special boots, air casts, and splints.
ElevationIf possible, keep the injured ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist elevated on a pillow, above the level of the heart, to help decrease swelling.
Rehabilitation for Sprains and StrainsThe second stage of treating a sprain or strain is rehabilitation to restore normal function. When the pain and swelling are reduced you can generally begin gentle exercise. A custom program is often created by a physical therapist that prevents stiffness, improves range of motion, improves flexibility and builds strength.
Rebuilding strength is a slow and gradual process, and only when done correctly can the athlete consider returning to sports. It's tempting to resume full activity despite pain or muscle soreness, but returning to full activity soon increases the chance of re-injury and may lead to a chronic problem.
Preventing Sprains and StrainsThere are many things athletes can do to help lower their risk of muscle sprains and strains. Start by reviewing these ten Tips for safe workouts
- Perform balance and proprioceptive exercises.
- Practice rehabilitation exercises.
- Wear shoes that fit properly.
- Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the heel wears down on one side.
- Ease into any fitness routine and get into proper physical condition to play a sport.
- Warm up before participating in any sports or exercise.
- Wear protective equipment when playing.
- Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
- Run on even surfaces.
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