Treatment of a sprains and strains is often accomplished
with the "RICE" method. Following this method of treatment
will definitely help us treat your athlete more efficiently and help them
return to their sport quickly. The following is an explanation of the RICE
method of treatment for sprains and strains:
The first 24-48 hours after the injury is considered a critical treatment
period and activities need to be curtailed. Gradually use the injured
extremity as much as tolerated, by try to avoid any activities that cause
pain. Often using a splint, sling, or crutches is necessary to adequately
rest the injured body part.
For the first 48 hours post-injury, ice the sprain or strain 20 minutes at
a time every 3-4 hours. The ice pack can be a bag of frozen vegetables
(peas or corn), allowing you to be able to re-use the bag. Another popular
treatment method is to fill paper cups with water then freeze the cup. Use
the frozen cube like an ice cream cone, peeling away paper as the ice
melts. Do NOT ice a sprain or strain for more than 20 minutes at a time!!
You will not be helping heal the injury any faster, and you can cause
damage to the tissues!
Use compression when elevating a sprain or strain in early treatment.
Using an Ace bandage, wrap the area overlapping the elastic wrap by
one-half of the width of the wrap. The wrap should be snug, but not
cutting off circulation to the extremity.
Try to keep your sprain or strain as best possible higher than your heart
if possible. Elevate at night by placing pillows under your arm or leg.