Sprain: How To Do First Aid

When we talk about summer, it means lot of traveling and walking for most. However, when we get all excited, we tend to be reckless and cause our bodies a certain level of injury. Sprains and strains can occur during a walk.

The most important thing to remember when a sprain occurs is to render RICE. Nope, it is not the staple food that I’m referring to but the acronym RICE - "Rest", "Ice", "Compression", "Elevation".

REST. Resting is extremely crucial to allow damaged or inflamed tissue to heal itself without adding further injury. This would mean staying off your feet as much as possible. Also, this requires you to avoid any activity that exasperates the injured area.

ICE. Ice is miracle cure for many sprains. It will right there and then reduce the swelling and promote healing. Ice or icepacks should be applied at fifteen minute intervals, removed for five minutes, and repeated frequently for the first 48 hours. Generally, after 48 hours, you can already switch to heat or alternate ice and heat. Of course, for serious injuries, better consult a physician.

COMPRESSION. To reduce swelling, place pressure either with your hands or with an elastic wrap. This pressure will help force the fluids from the injured area back into the drainage system.

ELEVATION. This allows gravity to move fluid away from the injured site and again back into the drainage system. When you elevate a sprain, keep in mind to have the injured part above heart level.

Above all, precaution is a lot better than to do first aid. Before any strenuous activity, practice proper stretching. This definitely leaves you from any unwanted injury.

Photo courtesy of Marcin Wichary.