Emergency advice

How to treat a strain or sprain:

  1. R- Rest injured area.
  2. I- apply an Ice pack.
  3. C- provide Comfortable support.
  4. E- Elevate the injured part. 

Signs and symptoms of sprains and strains

Look for:

  • pain and tenderness
  • swelling and bruising
  • difficulty moving the injured area, especially if it’s a joint.

What to do

  1. Resting a strain or sprain

    R – Rest the injured part. Help them to sit or lie down and support the injured part in a comfortable position, raised if possible.

  2. Putting ice on a strain or sprain

    I – Apply an Ice pack. Try and cool the area by putting an ice pack, or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel against the injury.  This can help to reduce the swelling, pain and bruising.

  3. Supporting a strain or sprain

    C – Provide Comfortable support. Leave the ice pack in place or wrap a layer of soft padding around the area, such as cotton wool. Secure the ice pack or soft padding with a conforming bandage that covers the area to the next joint, but make sure it’s not too tight by checking their circulation every 10 minutes. To do this, press a nail or skin beyond the injured area for five seconds until it goes pale. If the colour doesn’t come back within two seconds, loosen and reapply the bandage.

  4. Elevating a strain or sprain

    E - Elevate the injured part. Support the injury in an elevated position to help minimise swelling and bruising. You could do this by placing pillows underneath the injured part.

  5. First aid - call 999 or 112 for emergency help

    After using the RICE method, advise the casualty to rest. If the pain is severe or they cannot move the injured part, seek medical advice.

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