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Sprains and Strains (cont.)

Treatment and Home Remedies for Sprains and Strains

Patient Comments

Mild sprains and strains can be treated conservatively using home remedies and over-the-counter medications.

The main treatment (first aid) for all sprains and strains is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. A more severe sprain or strain may require evaluation by a doctor. Joint or extremity splitting or immobilization may be needed. Some severe sprains and strains may require surgery.

Some sprain and strain injuries may require physical therapy to help the tissue heal and to retain and strengthen the muscles and tendons.

For pain, over-the-counter pain relievers may be helpful.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling (use in children varies; discuss with a pediatrician)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Pain-relief creams such as Aspercream and Biofreeze

There are also some complementary therapies and home remedies that may help reduce inflammation and ease pain. Consult a doctor before using any home remedy.

Acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage are all other treatment modalities that may help someone recover from a sprain or strain injury. Consult a doctor to see if these adjunctive therapies are advised.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2015

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