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Your doctor will check for swelling and tenderness around your affected joint.
Your doctor may also recommend an X-ray or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to rule out fractures or other bone injuries, ligament tears or cartilage injuries.
You can treat a sprain yourself if it is mild. If your symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical treatment.
If you experience a mild sprain, use the RICE method to reduce the symptoms:
After the first 2 days, gently begin to use the injured area to prevent the joints from getting stiff. Take extra care to protect the joint, such as by taping the joint or supporting it with a brace.
You may take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary.
Physiotherapy can improve the stability and strength of the injured joint.
Your sprain may be more severe if you experience:
Speak to a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend a brace or splint to immobilise the area while it heals. For some injuries, such as a torn ligament, you may require surgery.
It takes time for a sprain to heal. Your recovery time depends on the severity of your injury and your general health.
For example, the average healing time for a mild to moderate ankle sprain is between 6 – 12 weeks for a full recovery.
If you suffered a full tear or rupture to your ligament, you may need treatment, surgery and months of rehabilitation for your sprain to heal completely.
However, with newer surgical techniques, the downtime can be reduced significantly. Do consult with your doctor for more information on this.
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