Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, the information on these pages is gathered from my own experience, books, websites, and other people's experience. I will not be held responsible for any injury resulting from this information. If you have a medical condition, you should seek qualified medical advice and supervision at all times.
I shall be adding more details and references on here in a short while, in the mean time though, I have linked in my short personal story.
What are sprains?
Sprains occur when ligaments are suddenly overstretched, potentially partially tearing the ligament or even breaking the ligament. Sprains severity is classified into three degrees:
- First degree: an over stretch or minor tear of the ligament. The area does not swell or bruise much.
- Second degree: a torn ligament, resulting in pain, swelling and then bruising.
- Third degree: a ruptured ligament.
- Fourth degree: a broken ligament. This may occur with broken bones, and requires surgery to reconnect the ligament.
Ankles are the most commonly sprained joints, with the potential to damage several ligaments. Severe ankle sprains can take longer to heal than a broken ankle. Knees, fingers and wrists are also commonly sprained, with the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee
damaged often by athletes.
Sprains are treated with the PRICE method:
- Protect from further injury
- Rest by halting all activity that causes further pain
- Ice the area, several times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time while it is still swollen.
- Compress the area to reduce swelling and constrain movement.
- Elevate the area to reduce blood flow to the injury and swelling.
For ankles and knees, crutches may be needed. Using the injured joints may further aggravate the sprain and lengthen recovery time.
Once the swelling has reduced, and movement no longer causes a lot of pain, other treatments can be used to aid recovery. These may include:
- Wearing a protective brace
- osteopathy and physiotherapy
- stretching and strengthening exercises
flickr | nifwlseirff | sprain (tag)