Sprain? Strain? The terms for these injuries sound so similar, what's the difference? Find out by taking this quiz.
Other times to see your healthcare provider for a sprain:
You should follow the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) treatment for the first 1 to 2 days after the injury:
Your healthcare provider may recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen to help ease pain and swelling. A moderate to severe sprain or strain may need a cast or brace to hold the joint still while it heals. A severe sprain or strain may need surgery to fix the tear. How long it takes a sprain or strain to heal depends on how severe the injury is. A moderate ankle sprain might need up to 6 weeks to heal. A severe sprain might take 6 months to a year.
UC San Diego | School of Medicine | Health Sciences