Strains and Sprains

Strains and sprains in the body are very common. Whether you injure your ankle or knee by just tripping on uneven ground or get tackled playing sport, the initial treatment is the same.

Initially it can be very painful and you may get swelling, some redness and  bruising coming out over the area and you may find it difficult to bare weight.

Initial treatment:

  • The PRICE protocol should be followed: Protect , Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. This acronym may also be called POLICE as well where the OL is for optimal loading meaning move the painful area as able and don't keep it still for too long.
  • Sometimes if it is very painful and swollen, it is necessary to use crutches to help you get around.
  • After 48 hours, this should begin to settle and it is very important to get the joint moving as soon as possible.
  • After icing it, slowly try to move the joint, even if it is only very small movements.
  • Initially it may be sore but should get easier the more you do it.
  • Try walking with as normal a walking pattern as possible, i.e. heel down first and then through the toes and with your foot facing forwards, not turned out to the side. This is very important as the ligaments and muscles need to heal in the position we normally walk in. You might need a stick or crutches to help you. The more you move it and walk, the better it will feel.
  • If you can get shoes/trainers on they give much better support and will help you walk and recover faster.
  • If you are a keen sports person a physiotherapist can give you more detailed guidelines as to other exercises you should do.
  • Remember it can take 6 weeks to recover fully from a sprain and you should not play in any matches until you have tested it out fully at 2 practice sessions and had no pain.