July 20, 2019

First aid for strain and sprain, with common questions and answers


Strains are injuries to muscle or tendons (which connect muscle to bone) due to overstretching. Sprains involve a stretch or a partial tear of ligaments (which connect two bones).

Signs and Symptoms of strain and sprain 

pain in the joint or muscle
swelling and bruising
warmth and redness of the injured area
trouble moving the injured part

What to Do


Make sure you stops activity right away, then remember RICE: Rest, Immobize, Cold, Elevate.

Rest: Do not move or straighten the injured area
Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injury. This will reduce the swelling and pain
Compress: support the injured part with elastic wrap or bandage. Specialized braces, such as

Elevate: Elevate the injured part only if it  does not cause more pain

Commonly asked questions and answers 

Q1. How can I tell if someone has a strain or sprain?
Sprain and strain are more common injuries where there has been a sudden unusual movement to a part of the body. The person may have pain, swelling and bruising around muscle or joint. If at the joint, person may find it difficult to move limb.

Q2. What is the difference between an ice pack and cold compress?
An ice pack is a freezes water that is wrapped with towel for cold compress. Cold compress doesn't hace to use ice, it could also use anything could, such as towel soaked in cold water. When using ice, make sure you don't put it directly on your skin.

Q3. How long should i leave the ice pack on the injury? 
It is recommended that ice pack wrapped with towel should not stay longer than 20 minutes on your skin.

Q4. What do I do after I have put an ice pack on the injury? 
Support the injured part in a raised position and apply bandage. Ensure bandage is not too tight.

Q5. Should I call an ambulance? 
Most strains and sprains respond to rest and cooling. If you suspect that the bone is broken, if you are unable to walk, if the limb is angled, or if pain is severe, then go to hospital.

Q6. I've heard that you can use warm cloth as alternative to cold compress. Is this wrong? 
This is not recommend first aid. Ice is the most effective way of reducing swelling and pain



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