First Aid for Sprains
It’s a fact of life that we will get injured from time to time. Stretching before physical activity is a great way to prevent sprains — but sometimes sprains happen despite our best efforts. A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament, which is a band of fibrous tissue that connects your bones together in your joints. Sprains are typically mild injuries, but they can be a real pain in the ankle (or another joint), especially when you are on your feet for extended periods. But fear not! If you find yourself nursing a sprain, there are ways to speed up your recovery:
- Rest and Ice: First and foremost, it’s important to give your ankle some TLC. The first thing you should do is find a comfortable spot and allow your ankle to rest. You’ll also want to ice the affected area immediately after the injury occurs to prevent swelling since the cold will help minimize the inflammation and reduce the pain.
- Compression and Elevation: In conjunction with ice, the use of compression and elevation will help to reduce swelling and limit movement in your ankle. Compression can be achieved by wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage, which will provide some support for your sprained ankle. You can also elevate your ankle above your heart, which will help the blood flow and prevent any additional swelling.
- Pain Management: If pain from the injury is making your day more challenging, consider taking some mild medication to ease this symptom. Over-the-counter pain medication can help to alleviate some of the discomfort you may be feeling.
- Assess: If the injury is causing severe pain or makes it difficult for you to bear weight, has signs of infection, or doesn’t improve after a week, consult with a doctor.
- What do you do to help prevent sprain?
- When was the last time you had a sprain? What steps did you take to heal?