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Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are common injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments. Most can be treated at home without seeing a GP.
Sprains - torn or twisted ligament (tissue that connects the joints) - most common in: wrists, ankles, thumbs, knees.
Strains - overstretched or torn muscle (also known as a pulled muscle) - most common in: knees, feet, legs, back.

How to treat sprains and strains yourself.
For the first couple of days, follow the 4 steps known as RICE therapy to help bring down swelling and support the injury:
Rest – stop any exercise or activities and try not to put any weight on the injury.
Ice – apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel) to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
Compression – wrap a bandage around the injury to support it.
Elevate – keep it raised on a pillow as much as possible.

To help prevent swelling, try to avoid heat (such as hot baths and heat packs), alcohol and massages for the first couple of days.

When you can move the injured area without pain stopping you, try to keep moving it so the joint or muscle does not become stiff

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