Sprains and Strains (cont.)
Self-Care at Home
Initial treatment for sprains and strains should occur as soon as possible. Remember RICE!
- Rest the injured part. Pain is the body's signal to not move an injury.
- Ice the injury. This will limit the swelling and help with the spasm.
- Compress the injured area. This again, limits the swelling. Be careful not to apply a wrap so tightly that it might act as a tourniquet and cut off the blood supply.
- Elevate the injured part. This lets gravity help reduce the swelling by allowing fluid and blood to drain downhill to the heart.
Over-the-counter pain medication is an option. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is helpful for pain, but ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) might be better because these medications relieve both pain and inflammation. Remember to follow the guidelines on the bottle for appropriate dose of the medicine, especially for children and teens. Underlying medical conditions or use of other prescription medicines may limit the use of over the counter pain medications.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/25/2014
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