Health Services

Strains and Sprains

First Aid for Strains and Sprains

If you suffer a strain or sprain injury, R-I-C-E (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate):

   1. REST. Stop using the injured part. The use of slings, splints and crutches may be helpful.
   2. ICE. Apply ice as soon as possible to ease pain and slow internal bleeding and swelling. Never apply ice directly to the skin; place a towel between the ice bag and skin.
   3. COMPRESS. Wrap an elastic bandage (ACE) around the injured limb to help control swelling. The bandage should be snug but not tight. Remove ACE bandage while sleeping.
   4. ELEVATE. Elevate an injured limb whenever possible to decrease swelling and lessen pain. Pillows can be used.

Call Health Services if you have:

   1. Loss of movement.
   2. Severe pain or pain that lasts more than 24 hours.
   3. No reduction in swelling after 24 hours.