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:
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:
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:
See your GP if:
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.