Sprains and strains: Management
Managing muscular sprains and strains
Fortunately, sprains and strains typically respond well to treatment.
Most injuries of this type will feel better after 2 weeks, although severe injuries may take several months to return to normal.1
Here we review the different approaches that could help your patient get back to enjoying their life.
Guideline recommendations for treating sprains and strains
Sprains and strains can be managed simply in the first 72 hours following the injury
According to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, patients with sprains or strains should be advised to follow the PRICE and HARM protocols in the first few days after the injury.2
Read more about these approaches below.
PRICE protocol for sprains and strains
PRICE stands for:2
- Protect from further injury (e.g. by using joint supports)2
- For the first 48–72 hours after injury2
- Apply ice wrapped in a damp towel for 15–20 minutes every 2–3 hours during the day for the first 48–72 hours after injury2
- With a snug (not tight) elastic or tubular bandage, whilst the patient is awake2
- Keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow until swelling is controlled2
The PRICE protocol summarises how patients can take care of their sprain or strain in the first few days after the injury.
HARM protocol for sprains and strains
HARM describes some key factors to avoid in the first 72 hours after injury:2
- Avoid heat sources such as baths and heat packs2
- Avoid alcohol, which can increase bleeding and swelling and reduce healing2
- Avoid running or other forms of exercise that can cause further damage2
- Avoid massage, which can increase bleeding and swelling2
The HARM protocol summarises what patients should avoid in the first 72 hours after injury if they have a sprain or strain.2
Analgesics can be used to relieve pain from sprains and strains
S0 20 g, 50 g S1 100 g. Voltaren Emulgel. Each 100 g of gel contains 1,16 g diclofenac diethylammonium corresponding to 1 g diclofenac sodium. Reg.No.: U/3.1/77. Indicated for use in adults and adolescents older than 12 years. Safety in pregnancy and lactation has not been established. Consult your pharmacist/ healthcare professional if needed. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare South Africa (Pty) Ltd. 39 Hawkins Avenue, Epping Industria 1, Cape Town, 7460. Reg. No: 2014/173930/07. For full prescribing information refer to the professional information approved by the medicines regulatory authority. For any further information, including safety, please contact the GSK Hotline on +27 11 745 6001 or 0800118274.
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Utilising physical therapy to improve outcomes
Physiotherapeutic interventions can be beneficial for soft-tissue injuries
Treatment and rehabilitation plans must be individually tailored to maintain and improve range of motion, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve functional activities.
For example, massage therapy can reduce stiffness and muscle soreness – although this should not be used in the first few days after the injury.
Appropriate strengthening programmes using tailored exercises are often required in the longer term to maximise recovery, and training regimens may need to be adjusted.5
Using multimodal approaches to relieve pain from sprains and strains
A multimodal strategy is helpful
Pharmacological and physiotherapeutic interventions can be combined into a multimodal approach for managing sprains and strains. Guidelines recommend a range of intervention types.2
How can Ben and Nicholas be helped?
Ben has strained a muscle while running, and is struggling to work and take care of his children.
Ben wants effective pain relief and fast recovery.
Voltaren Emulgel speeds recovery by relieving and reducing inflammation so Ben can get back on with his life.
Understanding sprains and strains
Overview Acute Musculo Skeletal pain
Acute musculoskeletal pain is seen almost every day in pharmacy practice. Many patients will present with pain following a sport or work injury. Many of these injuries can be caused by a patient overexerting themselves and leading to muscle or joint inflammation. Conditions such as low-back pain, muscle pain affect a large number of patient.8,9 Most patients with mild to moderate pain can be managed with the large selection of pain relievers.
The role of Calpol Tablets and Voltaren Emulgel In managing your Customers pain.
A customer in pain is one of the most common presentations seen in pharmacy practice. Although there are a vast number of conditions that cause mild to moderate pain, many of them can be effectively managed by over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers