If you get a sprain or strain, you may be able to treat it at home if it's not too severe using the 'RICER' method:
- Rest - keep the injured area supported and avoid weight bearing but move as tolerated.
- Ice - apply ice (wrapped in a wet towel) to the injured area for 20 minutes every two hours for the first 48–72 hours.
- Compression - apply a firm, but comfortable elastic bandage over the area, extending above and below the painful site.
- Elevation - raise the injured area, if possible, above the level of the heart at all times. Use a sling or cushions.
- Referral - as soon as possible, see a health professional.
Please see your doctor or attend an emergency department if something looks out of place, severe or ongoing pain, inability to move a joint or to bear weight as this may signify a broken bone or dislocation.