A sprain is generally caused by the sudden twist of the ligaments ( of the ankle, wrist or other joints) that causes severe pain and swelling. The pain and swelling can limit the movement of the affected joint and cause stiffness. However, most of the times, sprains are sudden and can be managed at home.
Here are a few effective and simple ways to manage sprains:
A. To Reduce Swelling, Try the RICE Therapy
Rest: The sprained or affected area should be provided with the adequate amount of rest. You may choose to use a sling for the arm or crutches for the foot. It is extremely important to provide rest to the affected area.
Ice Pack: Use an ice pack for the affected are for 20 minutes every two hours. Remember never to out ice directly on the skin. Instead, make sure you use an ice pack or wrap it in a towel.
Compress: One of the most effective ways to provide relief is to wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage or a cloth. It is important that you do not tie the bandage very tightly as it will not allow effective blood flow to the area.
Elevate: The affected area should be placed above the heart level, if possible to ensure adequate flow of blood.
B. To Manage Pain, Try Ice and Heat Therapy
-Alternative use of ice and heat therapy has been found to be very beneficial in reducing the pain. Heat therapy decreases the pain and increases the blood flow which also relaxes the sore muscles and joints.
-Ice therapy reduces inflammation and numbs the affected areas. Avoid the use of heat therapy in case the affected area is hot, red and irritated.
C. If Your Pain Worsens, See a Doctor
-In case none of this helps, try an over-the-counter pain relief medication for immediate relief.
-However, if your symptoms worsen, consult a doctor.
D. To Prevent Chances Of Sprain, Make These Changes
-Include regular stretching and strengthening exercises in your daily workout routine.
-Make sure you perform moderate to severe form of exercise every day for at least 5 days a week.
-If the usual exercises seem mundane to you, pick a sport and practice it. It shall help to condition your body effectively and also improve your flexibility.
-To avoid deficiencies in your bones and muscles, add bone healthy foods that are rich in calcium, zinc, vitamin K, magnesium and carotenoids and muscle building foods such as proteins to your diet.