Many people visit orthopedic doctors for sprain treatment. A joint sprain occurs when the ligaments that secure a joint in place are stretched or torn. The ankle joints are most vulnerable to sprains, but this common injury can also affect the knee, wrist, and thumb joints, among others in the body.
Do I Need Treatment for My Joint Sprain?
The symptoms of a joint sprain include sudden pain, often accompanies by a “pop” sound, along with swelling and bruising. If you believe you have sprained a joint, immediately implement the R.I.C.E. method:
- Rest – Take a break from physical activity that adds to your pain.
- Ice – Place an ice pack on the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours to reduce inflammation.
- Compression – Wrap the injured joint with an elastic bandage to help manage swelling.
- Elevation – Keep the injured joint above your heart to further reduce swelling.
Additionally, over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort as you heal.
When to see a doctor for joint sprain treatment
While mild sprains can often be treated at home, it’s important to seek care from a doctor if you:
- Can’t place any weight on or move the injured joint
- Are experiencing numbness around the injured joint
- Continue to have substantial pain after a few days of at-home care
Doctors can treat joint sprains in several ways. Many patients are able to find relief and regain mobility through physical therapy or immobilization with a splint or brace. In more extensive cases, surgery may be considered to repair torn ligaments.
Orthopaedic Specialists is led by a team of board-certified physicians who provide expert joint sprain treatment at our centers throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Region. To schedule an appointment with a specialist, contact us today.