First Aid for Sprains

Sprains are injuries caused by a stretched or torn ligament. A ligament is a fibrous band of tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint. When you have a sprain, you may have an injury in one or more ligaments in your body. You can have a sprain anywhere in your body but the most common sprains are in your ankles, knees, or wrists.

Doral Health and Wellness has an urgent care facility that can provide you with emergency medical assistance should you need it. We also provide lab tests, such as X-rays, if you require immediate results for your sprains.

Sprains can be treated at home, especially within the first 24 to 48 hours after your injury. Here are the steps you can take in giving first-aid treatments for sprains:

1. Control the swelling of your injured area by following the R.I.C.E. therapy:

  • R (rest) – rest your injury. It is important that when you have an injured rest, you take time to let it heal and let it rest. Do not put any weight on the area for about 48 to 72 hours.
  • I (ice) – ice the area of your injury. You can use a cold pack, or a compression sleeve with ice-cold water to help keep the swelling at bay. As much as possible, ice the area as soon as possible after the injury. Continue icing the area for about 20 to 30 minutes, 6 times a day, until the swelling improves. It is also important that you do not use the ice on your skin for too long as it can cause tissue damage.
  • C (compression) – put compression on the injured area, you can use a bandage or an elastic wrap. There is a specialized brace that can work better than an elastic bandage to stop the swelling.
  • E (elevate) – as much as possible, elevate the injured area above your heart level.

2. Managing the pain

You can administer over-the-counter painkillers to help manage the pain of your sprain, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

3. Seek medical assistance

See a doctor even with minor sprains. Have the injured area be evaluated by a doctor to rule out a possible broken bone, especially if you experience symptoms such as:

  •  A “popping” sound in the injured area
  •  You can’t move the injured area or limb
  •  Your limb buckles when the injured joint is moved
  • You feel numbness in your injured area
  •  There is swelling, pain, or open cuts
  •  If you have fever
  • Sprains may take several days to months to heal and for you to fully recover. It is very important that you wait for your injured limbs to restore their strength and stability before you use them again and go back to your usual activities. In some cases, you might need a physical therapist to help you with your injury.

Do not hesitate to seek emergency medical assistance if you are unable to bear weight on your injured limb, or if you feel pain directly over the bones of the injured area. You can visit Doral Health and Wellness Urgent Care for urgent medical emergencies. We provide urgent and comprehensive care for your condition. For more info, visit us at or call 1-347-384-5690.