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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:
- 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.
Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Student Health Center
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3131 phone
(716) 673-4722 fax