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Johns Hopkins Health - Self-Treating Sprains and Strains

Spring 2013
Issue No. 20

Self-Treating Sprains and Strains

Date: 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.”