Have you been knocked off your feet playing sport? Or left aching after straining yourself at work or home? You’ve got company. Millions of people every year suffer from muscle pain through injury from sport, or going about their day-to-day tasks at work or at home. Discover more about strains and sprains and how to reduce the muscle pain that goes with them.

What is a strain or sprain?

A strain is when a muscle, tendon or ligament has been overstretched or overused. An injury is known as a sprain when the muscle, tendon or ligament is stretched even more severely.

How should you treat a sprain or strain?

Muscle pain from strains or sprains use the RICE principle:

Rest through the pain. So, if you can, put your feet up.

Ice. Grab an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas and wrap it in a towel or a freezing spray. Then apply it for about 20 minutes every few hours to the injury for 2-3 days. This helps to reduce swelling.

Compress. Give your injury extra support by compressing the affected area with a bandage.

Elevate. Keep the injury elevated (if it is your leg, above hip level) to help drain off the fluid that causes swelling.

You might also want to consider taking a pain-reliever that contains ibuprofen – the active ingredient in Nurofen – because it can help ease pain and reduce swelling.

When should you see a doctor?

Please see a doctor if you’re in lots of pain, a muscle or joint is very swollen, or your movement is severely restricted.

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If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or
prescribe. In all health related matters please contact your doctor.