What are the treatment options for a sprain?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Treatment for a sprain may vary depending on the severity of the sprain. As soon as the sprain happens, ice the affected joint using an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel-don't apply the ice directly to your skin. Keep the ice there for about 15 minutes every few hours. You should also keep the joint immobilized-that is, you should try not to move it at all. Wrap it using an elastic bandage or splint. Keep your joint elevated above your heart level to reduce swelling. It's also important to rest the affected joint to allow it time to recover and heal. Pain caused by the sprain can be treated with an over-the-counter pain medication. In more severe cases, doctors may decide to put a cast or brace around the joint, and in some cases, you may need crutches to help you walk while the joint is recovering. For sever sprains, surgery may be necessary. Talk to your doctor to find the best treatment option for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.