Four Steps for Sprain First Aid Treatment
A sprain is an injury where a ligament is torn or stretched within a joint. A ligament links two or more bones to a joint.
Sprains are common in parts like the knee, wrist, and ankle. The number of ligaments involved and the degree of the sprain determines the severity of the injury.
The following are sprain symptoms:
- Swelling, which can be a sign of underlying inflammation within the soft tissue around the joint or within the joint
- Inability to use and move the joint
- Instability; it’s common on weight-bearing joints such as the ankle or knee
- Feeling or hearing a pop in the joint during the injury
What Is the Cause of Sprain?
Some common causes of a sprain include falling, experiencing trauma to your joint, or twisting. These injuries can make the joint change its normal range of movement or stretching and cause tearing of the ligament as this happens.
The following situations can result in a sprain:
- Running or walking on an uneven surface
- Landing on the hand or wrist when falling
- Twisting or pivoting suddenly
- Playing racquet sports
- Injury from contact sport
What is The First Aid Treatment for Sprain?
Sprains are painful, but the pain can be managed. If you have severe numbness or pain, you should go to an emergency room near you immediately.
Most sprains can be treated at home. Below is a quick guide on how to do first aid for sprains.
When you have a sprain, reducing the swelling should be your first priority. Swelling applies pressure to the damaged nerves increasing pain and tearing the torn ligaments more. Following the RICE protocol will help relieve the pressure and reduce the swelling.
RICE stands for:
- Rest the injured area. Stop your regular exercise and physical activities. You can use things like slings, crutches, or splints to avoid adding weight to the injured area.
- Ice. Place a cold pack on the injured limb to reduce the swelling. Ice the area four to eight times a day for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also use an ice bag, slush bath, or a plastic bag full of ice wrapped in a towel. Don’t use ice for too long as it could lead to tissue damage.
- Compression. Compressing the area can reduce swelling. Wrap an elastic or neoprene sleeve or bandage around your limb.
- Elevation. Elevate the injured area above your heart if possible. You can use a pillow.
If your sprain doesn’t get better after two or three days, you should visit an ER near you.
Sometimes one may require surgery depending on the severity of the sprain and the joints involved.
Express ER in Waco provides comprehensive and effective emergency care to the entire community. If you need sprain treatment, don’t hesitate to call us.
What Are the Different Degrees of Sprain Injury?
The level at which the ligaments are injured determines the degrees of the sprain.
- Mild sprain: The ligaments are stretched a little.
- Moderate sprain: It’s a combination of stretching and tearing of the ligament.
- Severe sprain: The ligament tears completely.
Mild sprains require rest, little care, and few days to heal. In situations where the ligament is torn, surgery may be required to correct the issue.
What Can You Do to Help Prevent Stains?
- Avoid playing sports or exercising when in pain or tired
- Keep your muscles strong by eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy diet
- Warm-up before exercising. It helps the muscles increase their movement range and helps to prevent tears to the connective tissue and trauma
- Wear appropriate footwear. Shoes with proper support offer protection to the knee and ankle joints
- Be aware of the environment surrounding you. Being on the lookout for uneven or slippery surfaces or objects that can cause an accident may help avoid injuries.
- Do prior physical therapy exercises or stretching exercises daily to maintain balance and strength.
Not all sprains are preventable, but with the right care, you can prevent complications or any permanent damage.
You should visit a sprain emergency room if you experience the following with a sprain:
- Pain and swelling that worsens despite using the home treatment
- Limited flexibility and movement around the affected area
- Numbness in the injured area
- Developing redness or red streaks that spread out from the area of injury