Sprains and Strains

SPRAINS AND STRAINS

Sprains and strains are common injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments. Most can be treated at home without seeing a GP but may need physiotherapy.

 

Check if you have a sprain or strain

 

It's likely to be a sprain or strain if:

  • you have pain, tenderness or weakness – often around your ankle, foot, wrist, thumb, knee, leg or back
  • the injured area is swollen or bruised
  • you can't put weight on the injury or use it normally
  • you have muscle spasms or cramping – where your muscles painfully tighten on their own

 

How to treat sprains and strains yourself

For the first couple of days, follow the 4 steps known as RICE therapy to         help bring down swelling and support the injury:

 

  1. Rest – stop any exercise or activities and try not to put any weight on     the injury.
  2. Ice – apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel) to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Compression – wrap a bandage around the injury to support it.
  4. Elevate – keep it raised on a pillow as much as possible.

To help prevent swelling, try to avoid heat – such as hot baths and heat packs, alcohol and massages for the first couple of days.

When you can move the injured area without pain stopping you, try to keep moving it so the joint or muscle doesn't become stiff.

 

How long it takes for a sprain or strain to heal

After 2 weeks, most sprains and strains will feel better. Avoid strenuous    exercise such as running for up to 8 weeks, as there's a risk of further damage.

Severe sprains and strains can take months to get back to normal which is why you need physiotherapy.

You can't always prevent sprains and strains                          Sprains and strains happen when you overstretch or twist a muscle. Not warming up before exercising, tired muscles and playing sport are common causes.

Go to a minor injuries unit if:

  • the injury isn't feeling any better after treating it yourself
  • the pain or swelling is getting worse

 

See your GP if:

  • you also have a very high temperature or feel hot and shivery, these could be signs of an infection.

 

Physiotherapy for sprains and strains

If you have a sprain or strain that's taking longer than usual to get better you would be advised to see a physiotherapist.

 

 

The Chorley Clinic have physiotherapists who can treat strains and sprains, we can also treat trauma, accidents and fractures.

Contact us

For all enquires please telephone: 01257 232000

 

The Chorley Clinic

1 Mayfield Road

Chorley

Lancashire

PR6 0DG

 

info@thechorleyclinic.co.uk  

 

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