Whether on the job or when engaging in some other kind of strenuous physical activity, a sprain is one of the more painful injuries that a Pennsylvanian can go through. Unlike a broken bone, a sprain is the tearing of the ligament that connects bones together at their joints. Anyone who is regularly physically active should have a general knowledge about how to diagnose and treat a sprain.

Diagnosing a sprain

It can be difficult to determine if pain around a joint after getting injured is a sprain or if it is something less severe. If the affected area is a joint and moving it causes pain, then a medical professional may be needed to determine the extent of the injury and whether or not it is a sprain. Mayo Clinic states that techniques used to diagnose the injury may include ultrasound, CT scan, MRI or x-ray.

Treating a sprain

 Web MD advises that a sprain should be kept elevated above the heart. This can reduce swelling.

It is also helpful to wrap the injury, though this may require a specialized brace. This technique is known as compression.

Putting ice on the injury can help to manage the pain and reduces inflammation. It is recommended to only keep the injury on ice for 20 minutes out of every hour.

The most important part of recovery is resting the injured area to avoid exacerbating the sprain. A splint or cast may be required. Avoiding movement or additional stress to the sprain will expedite the recovery process.