sprains and bruises

What to Do When You Have Sprains and Bruises

What to Do When You Have Sprains and Bruises

A sprain is said to occur when the tissues around the joint have been torn resulting in an injury. This produces pain and swelling, and often some discolouration under the skin.

A sprain is quite different from a fracture, but it can be very painful.

When You Have a Sprain

  • Pain and tenderness: when you have pain or tenderness around the injured area
  • Movement becomes difficult: The person finds it difficult to move or to put weight on the injured area
  • Swelling: there is swelling around the injured area
  • The skin becomes discoloured where bruises are forming


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sprains and bruises


What to do when you have a sprain:

  • You can apply cold clothes or ice to the injured joint or area.
  • Continue applying the cold clothes until the swelling subsides.
  • Then you can as well apply hot packs one or two days later, or alternating hot and cold treatments.
  • You may also be given crutches depending on the severity of the injury to keep some weight off a strain to the leg or a sprain to the ankle or knee.
  • The injured area can be wrapped to keep swelling down by using an elastic bandage. These can only be done under the instruction of your doctor.
  • When there is severe pain you can use pain relief drugs i.e. to relieve inflammation and pain. These will likely be NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen. Give these medications under the supervision of your personal physician
  • Physical therapy (PT) is an important component of treatment. It can help to restore function and speed up the healing process.
  • You can cast the affected area to keep it still and allow the strain or sprain to heal.


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Are the result of heavy blows from some blunt instrument or surface leading to severe pain.

Usually, the skin is not broken, but the tissues underneath are damaged, and many small blood vessels are torn.

This subcutaneous bleeding produces the black and blue marks under the skin.

For example, a black eye is a bruise of the soft tissues around the eye.


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What to do:

  • Apply very cold clothes or ice immediately to the affected area. This will help tremendously to reduce the pain and swelling.
  • You can continue this simple treatment for the next twenty-five to thirty-five minutes at a time.
  • Depending on the bruises you can treat every three or four hours as needed.
  • Later you may use alternating hot and cold applications until all pain and swelling have disappeared.
  • If the blow was heavy, have a doctor examine the injured area.
  • A bandage isn’t always needed, but it can be helpful as a support for an injured limb or joint if there’s bruising or swelling.
  • You can wrap a bandage around the injured muscle or joint.
  • You can wrap the bandage with a firm, even pressure. Be careful not to wrap too tightly and cut off blood to the fingers or toes.
  • These can best be done under the supervision of a medical practitioner

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