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First Aid Basics: “Dealing with a sprain”

August 1, 2012

Sprains are common injuries in which a sudden unusual movement has taken place (wrenching or twisting) of a joint, resulting in partial rupture of its ligaments. There may also be damage to the associated blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and nerves. A sprain is more serious than a Strain, which is simply the overstretching of a muscle, without swelling. Severe sprains are so painful that the joint cannot be used. There is generally much swelling, with reddish to blue discoloration due to hemorrhage from ruptured blood vessels.

 Basic First Aid in this instance would be RICE.

1. Rest

(Do not move or straighten the injured area)

2. Immobolize

(Stabilize the injured area in the position it was found)

3. Cold

(Apply an ice pack to the injury. This will reduce swelling an pain)

4. Elevate

(Only if this does not cause more pain)

If you do not have any ice or cold compress, check your freezer for a bag of frozen peas or corn. It would be a good idea to keep a bag just in case. Wrap it in a dishtowel before applying it to the area, as it may be too cold if not. Try and do this for twenty minutes.

Most strains and sprains will respond to rest and cooling the injury, however if you suspect that a bone is broken; the limb is angled; or the pain is severe- then the person should go to the hospital.

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