First Aid for Strains and Sprains:
- Rest, Stop moving, stop using the injured area. Depending on the severity of the injury you may need to revisit the rest step for several weeks. When I strained my back I was out for few weeks.
- Ice, I always put a barrier ( a towel or wrap) between the ice pack and my skin to prevent irritation or damage to the skin. Ice can help reduce swelling and pain in the injured area. Ice can be applied for up to 20 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours.
- Compression, Light compression can help provided support to the injured area and prevent further injuring the body part. Try the 2 finger rule to make sure compression is not to tight; If you can slide to fingers under the compression it is probably a good fit.
- Elevation, Elevation helps get blood flow to and from the injured area and can help reduce swelling. several pillows will usually do the trick.
You May Need to Seek Medical Attention :
- if you suspect a break or dislocation
- if the swelling does not go down - this could be a sign of a break
- if the pain is severe
Preventing Strains and Sprains:
- warm up before you lift
- focus on proper form during every rep of every lift
- lift within the normal range of motion for your joints
- if you are feeling fatigued take a short break
- if you feel any sharp shooting pains, STOP!
What tips do you have for preventing sprains and strains?
Next week is our last week of First Aid tips. Next weeks topic is broken bones and fractures. Spoiler alert - seek medical attention. I'll discuss how I coped with a recent break,
Health and Happiness,
- American Heart Association, Heart Saver First Aid, CPR, AED, Student Workbook
- Green, D.J(ed) (2010). ACE Personal Trainer Manual: The Ultimate Resource For Fitness Professionals (4th ed.) SanDiego, CA: American Council on Exercise.
- Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprains-and-strains/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20020958