How to treat a Sprain- First Aid Basics for Sport Injuries

Your ligaments are powerful, elastic bands that connect to your bones and stabilise your joints. A sprain is a ligament damage brought on by overstretching. There may be rips in the ligament or it may be entirely ripped apart.

Ankle and knee sprains are the most frequent types of sprains. Ligaments that have been strained expand quickly and hurt. In general, the more painful the injury, the worse it is. You can probably take care of most minor sprains on your own.

Suggestions on immediate treatment for sprains, strains and joint injuries, to prevent further damage include:

Follow the instructions for P.R.I.C.E.


Protect the injured limb from further injury by not using the joint. You can do this using anything from splints to crutches.


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. For example, you can use an exercise bicycle, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on another part of the bike. That way you still get three-limb exercise to keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.


Ice the area. Use a cold pack, a slush bath or a compression sleeve filled with cold water to help limit swelling after an injury. Try to apply ice as soon as possible after the injury. If you use ice, be careful not to use it for too long, as this could cause tissue damage.


Compress the area with an elastic wrap or bandage. Compressive wraps or sleeves made from elastic or neoprene are best.


Elevate the injured limb whenever possible to help prevent or limit swelling.

Use the wounded region gradually after the first two days. You ought to experience a steady improvement. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and other brands) and acetaminophen are two over-the-counter medications that can help you manage pain while your body heals.

Get emergency medical assistance if:

  • You heard a popping sound when your joint was injured, you can’t use the joint, or you feel unstable when you try to bear weight on the joint. This may mean the ligament was completely torn. On the way to the doctor, apply a cold pack
  • You have a fever higher than 100 F (37.8 C), 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
  • You aren’t improving after the first two or three days

Most Common Sports Injuries

  • Ankle sprain – symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness.
  • Bruises – a blow can cause small bleeds into the skin.
  • Concussion – mild reversible brain injury from a blow to the head, which may be associated with loss of consciousness. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and short term memory loss.
  • Cuts and abrasions – are usually caused by falls. The knees and hands are particularly prone.
  • Dehydration – losing too much fluid can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Dental damage – a blow to the jaw can crack, break or dislodge teeth.
  • Groin strain – symptoms include pain and swelling.
  • Hamstring strain – symptoms include pain, swelling and bruising.
  • Knee joint injuries – symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness. The ligaments, tendons or cartilage can be affected.
  • Nose injuries – either blood nose or broken nose, are caused by a direct blow.
  • Stress fractures – particularly in the lower limbs. The impact of repeated jumping or running on hard surfaces can eventually stress and crack bone.

In conclusion, sprains are very common in the sporting world, but that doesn’t mean that sprains aren’t harmful. When someone sprains their joints remember the five steps (P.R.I.C.E). These steps should elevate most of the pain, if the pain is persistent and becoming more severe call the emergency services. At MediChem we have a wide assortment of Sport First Aid, ranging from blister plasters till splint kits. Remember to visit a doctor after every injury to not sustain lasting damage and to improve the healing process.  

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