bandagesA sprain describes injury to a ligament caused by excessive stretching. Ligaments are the tough, elastic-like bands that attach to your bones and hold your joints in place. Sprains occur most often in your ankles, knees or the arches of your feet. Sprained ligaments swell rapidly and are painful. Generally, the greater the pain, the more severe the injury. For most minor sprains, you can probably treat the injury yourself. Follow the instructions for R.I.C.E:

  1. Rest the injured limb. But don’t avoid all activity. (Even with an ankle sprain you can usually still exercise other muscles to prevent deconditioning).
  2. Ice application with a cold pack, slush bath or a compression sleeve filled with cold water is the best way to limit swelling after an injury. Try to apply ice as soon as possible after the injury.
  3. Compress the area using an elastic wrap or bandage.
  4. Elevate the injured limb above heart level whenever possible to help prevent or limit swelling.

Get emergency medical care if:

  • You hear a popping sound when your joint is injured and you can’t use it. On the way to your health care provider, apply a cold pack.
  • You have a fever and the area is red and hot. You may have an infection.
  • You have a severe sprain. Inadequate or delayed treatment may cause long-term joint instability or chronic pain.

See *Treating a Common Sprained Ankle *

Amy - Teen's Health Expert

By Amy - Teen's Health Expert

Discover the dedicated author behind Teen Health Secrets, an experienced expert committed to providing in-depth knowledge and guidance on various aspects of teen health, ensuring young individuals lead healthy, informed lives.