Kids Choice Pediatrics LLC

What is a sprain?

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 strain.

What happens if I get a sprain?
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 part.

What should I do if I get a sprain?
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.

"Hop, skip & jump and I got a sprain
Doctor told that from sports I should refrain
Too much rest put me down the drain
That all that I did was have a weight gain".