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What to do in the event of a sprain
Immediate treatment of a sprain should follow RICE therapy. This stands for:
- Rest – stop the activity that caused the injury and rest the injured joint. Two days (48 hours) of rest is recommended.
- Ice - apply an ice pack to the area for between 10 and 30 minutes. The ice must not touch the skin directly as this may cause a cold burn, so place a towel over the injured part first.
- Compression – compress or bandage the injured site to limit swelling and movement that could damage it further.
- Elevation - raise the injured area to an elevated but comfortable height (above heart height wherever practical) to reduce swelling, especially at night. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining away excess fluid.
After 48 hours you should be able to start to use the joint again, gently. However if you are still experiencing pain, then see your GP or a physiotherapist.
Current recommended treatment for lower back pain include:
- continue with normal activities wherever possible,
- use of over-the-counter painkillers,
- use of anti-inflammatory drugs and stronger painkillers (consult your pharmacist or GP first),
- a muscle relaxant may be prescribed but only for a few days,
- if you are in severe pain, keep any bed rest as short as possible, as complete rest does not help recovery,
- exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve posture,
- apply a cold compress (bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to reduce the initial inflammation, apply heat (heating pad, hot water bottle or hot shower) after a few days to ease muscular pain,
How to prevent back pain
Back pain is experienced by 7/10 people in this country. To avoid back pain you must reduce excess stresses and strains on your back, and ensure your back is strong and supple.
The following advice also applies to those with persistent, recurring bouts of back pain:
- lose any excess weight,
- do strengthening exercises to improve your back and stomach muscles,
- improve your body posture,
- sleep on a bed with a firm, comfortable mattress,
- sit in chairs that support the spine, with your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest,
- correct lifting and handling,
- avoid sudden movements or muscle strain,
- when driving, have a seat that supports the back and neck,
- try and reduce your stress, anxiety and tension, and
- take regular exercise.
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Lee on Solent
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Tel 01329 663093
Pre & post operative advice
Members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists
We are recognised by all health insurers.