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Sprain - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide

Last Updated on May 07, 2010
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Overview

  • Sprain is the stretch/tear of ligament connecting bones 
  • Occurs in both the upper & lower part of the body 
  • Most common sites - ankle/wrists/knee 
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Causes

  • Trauma/accidents 
  • Lifting heavy objects 
  • Sporting injuries 

Symptoms

  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Lumps other than swelling 
  • Bruising/redness at site of injury 
  • Numbness 
  • Inability to move the joint 
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Treatment

  • Apply a cold compress to injured area for 20 min 
  • This may be done 4-8 times a day 
  • Use a plastic bag with crushed ice, wrapped in a towel 
  • Use compression bandages to reduce swelling 
  • Keep the injured leg elevated on a pillow 
  • Take anti inflammatory pills if necessary 
  • Take rest for the recommended period 
  • When pain/swelling is diminished, do recommended exercises 
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Consult a doctor

If the following occurs-

  • Severe pain/numbness 
  • Inability to move the joint 
  • Inability to assess the severity of injury 

Steps To Avoid

  • Do not return to normal activities if not completely cured 
  • This could lead to the problem turning chronic 
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Prevention

  • Avoid exercising/sporting when tired 
  • Eat a well balanced meal-for healthy muscles 
  • Avoid unhealthy weight gain 
  • Exercise daily-particularly stretching exercises 
  • Do warm-up before exercising 
  • Practice safety measures, like avoiding clutter 
  • Run on even surface 
  • Do not wear ill-fitting shoes  

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