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How to Take Care of a Sprain

How to Take Care of a Sprain

If you’ve been injured and have a sprain, you aren’t alone. Sprains are a common injury that can happen to anyone. Though most sprains heal without issue after a week or two, without taking steps to give your injury the right kind of care, you can develop long-term problems. 

At Urgent Care of Ada, our experienced team of providers help patients in Ada, Oklahoma, with effective diagnoses and care for sprains and other injuries. If you’re struggling with a sprain, keep reading to learn how to care for your injury and what we can do to help.  

How do I know if I have a sprain?

You have tough bands of tissue called ligaments. These ligaments hold your bones together. A sprain is a tear in one of your ligaments from being stretched too hard. Most sprains heal in one to two weeks with the right treatment. Symptoms of a sprain include:

It can be challenging to tell if your injury is a sprain or fracture. Both injuries cause similar symptoms and make it hard to bear weight if the injury affects your lower limb. 

If you’re worried about a fracture, don’t wait for an evaluation by a medical professional, like the team at Urgent Care of Ada. Your provider examines your injury and uses imaging technology, like our onsite X-ray machine.  

How do I care for my sprain at home?

When you first get injured, you can care for your sprain at home using four steps called RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Here’s how it works:

You should also avoid heat, like hot baths or heating pads, and drinking alcohol for several days to keep swelling down. Once you can move without pain, it’s a good idea to keep moving it so you don’t develop a stiff joint or muscle. Just be sure to go slow. 

What if my sprain required medical attention?

More significant sprains may require professional treatment. Sprains can be treated in different ways, including slings, compression bandages, splints, and sometimes casts. Your provider evaluates your injury and recommends the right therapeutic treatment for you.  

Splints are typically used when your injury first occurs to prevent further damage and reduce pain. Your Urgent Care of Ada provider may splint your injury and refer you to a specialist if your sprain appears severe. 

If your Urgent Care of Ada provider gives you a splint, you can care for your sprain by following these steps:

For some people, a simple sling to rest your injury may be the only treatment needed. Or a sling can be used with other therapies. Slings are used to keep your injury comfortable. 

Once you no longer have pain, you don’t need to wear the sling unless your provider directs you otherwise. 

How can I manage the pain from my sprain?

Most discomfort from sprains can be managed with over-the-counter pain medicine. If your pain worsens or doesn’t improve after taking medication, call your provider. You should also call your provider if:

Struggling with an injury and concerned you have a sprain? Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Urgent Care of Ada, or visit our urgent care clinic for same-day X-rays and treatment.

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