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Questions to Ask
Did the strain or sprain occur with great force from a vehicle accident or a fall from a high place?
Are any of these signs present?
• A bone sticks out or bones in the injured part make a grating sound.
• The injured body part looks crooked or the wrong shape.
• A loss of feeling in the injured body part
• Inability to move or put weight on the injured body part (Note: See Immobilize the injured area under "Broken Bones.")
• Does the skin around the injury turn blue and/or feel cold and numb?
Are any of these problems present?
• There is bad pain and swelling or the pain is getting worse.
• It hurts to press along the bone.
• Stop what you’re doing. Then use R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation: see R.I.C.E. under "Dislocations".)
• Take an over-the-counter medicine for pain and inflammation. (Note: See Pain relievers in "Your Home Pharmacy".)
• Also note, for specific areas of the body: Remove rings right away if you sprain your finger or hand. (If you don’t, and your fingers swell up, someone may have to cut the rings off.) If you have a badly sprained ankle, use crutches. They help keep weight off the ankle, so it can heal.
• Call your doctor if the sprain or strain does not improve after doing the Self-Care Tips for four days.
Source: American Institute for Preventative Medicine, Farmington Hills, MI.