Emergency First Aid at Work Online
    About Lesson

    Recognise suspected: Sprains and strains

     

    Sprains and strains are very common injuries that occur when muscles and ligaments are stretched, twisted or torn. They often happen when changing direction and speed suddenly, or falling awkwardly.

     

     

    TREATMENT (R.I.C.E)

     

    1. REST – Rest the affected area as soon as possible. If necessary, use a sling for an arm or crutches for a leg. Splint an injured toe or finger by taping it to an adjacent finger or toe.
    2. ICE (PACK) – Try to ice the affected area for 10 mins, every hour. Never place the ice directly on the skin.
    3. COMPRESSION / COMFORTABLE POSITION – Compress the area by dressing it with a bandage or sleeve. ‘Lightly not tightly.’
    4. ELEVATE – Elevate the area above the level of the heart. This will decrease the blood pressure, which will reduce the swelling.
    5. An X-ray should be considered to determine the extent of the injury

     

     

    SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

    • PAIN
    • SWELLING
    • CASUALTY CAN’T MOVE THE INJURED AREA
    • NUMBNESS
    • BRUISING
    • DEFORMITY
    • WEAKNESS & LOSS OF POWER

     

     

    Q&A

     

    How do I know if the casualty needs an X-ray?

    If symptoms don’t begin to improve after R.I.C.E treatment, you should consider having an X-ray to rule out a fracture to the bone.

     

    What is the difference between and sprain and a strain?

    Sprains affect ligaments, whereas strains affect muscles

     

    Why does cooling help?

    This reduces pain and swelling. Place ice cubes or a bag of frozen peas in a tea-towel or cloth and place on the skin.