Our bones are connected at various joints. Special tissues
called ligaments (pronounced as lee – gaa – mints) hold
the bones together at the joints. When the ligaments
are over-stretched due to a funny movement (such as
twisting the ankle), we get a sprain. Ankle joints,
elbows and wrists tend to get sprained very often. Sometimes
the muscle may get over stretched – that is called a
Once you get a sprain, the affected area will become
tender and swollen and look bruised. It will pain a
lot. (A strain may start paining a few hours later).
It may be difficult to move or put weight over the affected
If you get a sprain, stop using that part of the body
right away. Do not move the affected part. Apply ice
packs over the injury for 10 to 20 minutes at a time
for the first 24 hours. This will bring down the swelling.
Your doctor will examine the area and may even ask for
an X-Ray to rule out a fracture, as sprains tend to
mimic fractures. Your doctor may apply an elastic bandage
or a splint at the joint.
Elevating the part may help
decrease the swelling. Your doctor may also give pain
relievers to relieve the pain.
After 24 hours, you can
apply warm compresses. Your sprain may heal within 3
– 4 weeks. It is important that you avoid excessive
movement of the injured area till it heals or it may
take a longer time to recover.