As the temperature starts to warm across Australia, we begin to make the most of it by spending more time outdoors. This goes hand in hand with more sports activities such as tennis, running, golf and cricket. The flip side to this is the increase in sport related injuries such as strains and sprains. These are injuries to the joints and ligaments and are very common.
What are the symptoms of a strain or sprain? There will be pain in the area and you will likely have difficulty moving the affected muscle group. In more serious injuries the area may swell and bruise.
Our first aid kits have a huge rage of first aid products – including some that are great for helping treat strains. Because of this, our kits have become popular at sport centres and clubs across NSW and the ACT.
How to Treat a Sprain or Strain
Immediately Following the Incident:
Use an ice pack (such as the instant ice packs contained in our kit) to treat the injury. You should do this for 20 minutes and continue doing this periodically to ease some of the pain and take the “heat” from the area.
You can also compress the muscles affected in the injury. This will result in quicker healing as it keeps some of the swelling and inflammation at bay. Our first aid kits contain bandages that are perfect for this use. After applying the compression bandage, if it is possible you should elevate the injury above heart level to further reduce swelling.
If you are worried, it is always best to see a professional health care provider to get your injury checked. For the next few days you should follow the RICE principles in caring for your injury until the symptoms have fully disappeared.
RICE is an acronym to help you remember what to do to reduce the healing time of the injury.
REST: You should take a break from any activity that would aggravate your injury. No more sports or exercise for the next few days. When you feel you have waited long enough for the injury to heal and would like to it – take it slow. You will be more fragile in the area that you injured.
ICE: Cold will reduce pain and swelling. As well as applying a cold pack right away you should re administer for 10-20 minutes a few times a day. If after a few days the swelling has gone but you are still in pain, you can apply heat to the area that hurts.
COMPRESSION: Continue to wrap a compression bandage around the injury. Make sure that the bandage is not too tight or causing numbness, increased pain or swelling under where it is applied. If you still feel like you need the compression bandage after 48 – 72 hours you should consult a health professional.
ELEVATE: Keep the injured limb elevated when you can. This may involve keeping the limb raised on a pillow. You should do this when you are lying, sitting or icing your injury.
While healing, avoid physical activity, alcohol and hot baths or spas. These can all result in further swelling and prolonging the healing process.
If you would like a quote on our first aid kits, get in touch. Our portable kits are great to be taken to the scene of an injury in the event of a sprain. They also give you peace of mind that you have the tools needed in a wide range of injuries that may occur at any workplace.