Sprains - the PRICE principle

Sprains occur when there is damage to ligaments and can be graded from 1-3. a grade 1 sprain being mild, and grade 3 being a complete rupture of the ligament. Whatever the grade or cause of sprain, the main object in the acute stage is to keep inflammation under control. To do this, the most common treatment is PRICE.
Sprained ankle 30min

P
Protection. the last thing you need when you've sprained a joint is to have more direct trauma.
R
Rest. This does not mean completely avoiding doing any activity, but you aren't going to be using the joint in a significant way for a while. Continue to do small range a motion movements, but avoid stressing the joint
I
Ice. Ice is a very effective way to keep swelling down. get a bag of frozen peas or and icepack if you have it, wrap it in a thin towel, and place on the affected area. Usually guidelines say ice between 10-30 minutes at a time. I usually split the difference and say for 20 minutes at a time. Do this every couple of hours
C
Compression. Light pressure on the joint in the form of a bandage or, if it's an ankle sprain, high top sneakers will help push swelling away and support the joint. Be careful not to wrap to tightly.
E
Elevation. Keep the joint up when resting if possible. This will help blood flow back towards the heart and keep swelling down

So there you have it. The PRICE method is the treatment of choice for the first 48-72 hours after initial injury. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist for more advice. after 72 hours you may need to take NSAIDs to help with inflammation and pain.

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