Issue No. 20
Self-Treating Sprains and StrainsDate: April 19, 2013
If an exuberant return to warmer weather leaves you wincing in pain from a sprain or a strain, don’t despair.
“Most minor sprains [twisted or wrenched ligaments] and strains [overstretched or torn muscles or tendons] are easy to treat at home,” says Sameer Dixit, M.D., a sports medicine physician at Johns Hopkins.
For self-care, he suggests the PRICE technique.
- Protect the injured area.
- Rest the affected limb.
- Ice or apply a cold pack to the swelling.
- Compress the area using a bandage.
- Elevate the injured limb.
“If you don’t see noticeable improvement within a week, see your doctor,” Dixit says. “If you want a quicker return to activity, rehabilitation and physical therapy can help get you there.”