Self Care Center - How to treat a Sprain

How to treat a Sprain

What to do...

The symptoms of a sprain are almost exactly the same as that of a broken bone. When in doubt, sprains should be treated the same as broken bones. The most common symptoms are:

- Pain

- Swelling

- Bruising

- Inability to move

- Inability to bear weight on the joint

Use the RICE method to treat the sprain

- Rest the sprained joint by not placing weight on it. Use a cane or crutch on the uninjured side to lean away from the injury

- Ice the sprain with an ice pack

- Compress the sprain with a compression bandage. Ask a healthcare provider to show you how to properly apply a compression bandage.

- Elevate the sprain above the level of the heart as often as possible during the first 48 hours.

You should visit a health care provider when:

- There is severe pain.

- The victim is unable to put any weight on it .

- It looks different than the uninjured joint (swelling doesn't count).

- The victim can't move it.

- The victim can't walk more than four steps on it.

- There is numbness in any part of it.

- There is redness or red streaks spread out from the injury.

- It has been sprained several times before.

- There is pain, swelling or redness over a bony part of your foot.


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Summer Hours
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Student Health Center

LoGrasso Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3131 phone
(716) 673-4722 fax