Treatment of sprains is often accomplished with the “RICE” method. If you are unsure of the severity of your sprain or strain, call our office before beginning any treatment or rehab. The following explains the RICE treatment method for sprains and strains:
Rest: The first 24-48 hours after the injury is a critical treatment period and you need to stop your strenuous activities. You may gradually use the injured extremity as much as tolerated, by avoiding any activities that cause pain. If the pain persists, please call our office since the use of a splint, sling, or crutches may be necessary to adequately rest the injured body part.
Ice:For the first 48 hours post-injury, put ice on the sprain 20 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours. You can create an ice pack by using frozen vegetables (peas or corn), which allows you to re-use the bag. Another popular treatment method is to fill a plastic bag with ice cubes. Do NOT ice a sprain for more than 20 minutes at a time! You can cause damage to the tissues and you will not help the injury to heal more quickly!
Compression: Use gentle compression when elevating a sprain in early treatment. Use an Ace bandage to wrap the area overlapping the elastic wrap by one-half of the width of the wrap. The wrap should be “gently-snug”, but do not cutting off circulation to the extremity. PLEASE NOTE: if your fingers or toes become cold, blue, or tingle, loosen the wrap and call our office!
Elevate: Keep your sprained extremity higher than your heart if possible. Elevate at night by placing pillows under your arm or leg.
While the Rice Method can be helpful with a sprain, if you have any questions, numbness, tingling, blue fingers or toes, please call our office immediately at 281.335.1111 or seek medical attention at your nearest emergency room.