Sprains and strains: Management

Man holding back

Managing muscular sprains and strains

Fortunately, sprains and strains typically respond well to treatment.

Most injuries of this type will feel better after 2 weeks, although severe injuries may take several months to return to normal.1

Here we review the different approaches that could help your patient get back to enjoying their life.

Guideline recommendations for treating sprains and strains

Summary of NICE guidance on treating strains and sprains

Sprains and strains can be managed simply in the first 72 hours following the injury

According to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, patients with sprains or strains should be advised to follow the PRICE and HARM protocols in the first few days after the injury.2

Read more about these approaches below.

Analgesics can be used to relieve pain from sprains and strains

Analgesics can be used to relieve pain from sprains and strains

Paracetamol or topical medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) gels can be used for sprains and strains.2–4

Codeine can be added on, if prescribed.2

Oral NSAIDs can be considered 48 hours after the injury, if needed.2,4

Utilising physical therapy to improve outcomes

Massage and exercise

Physiotherapeutic interventions can be beneficial for soft-tissue injuries

Treatment and rehabilitation plans must be individually tailored to maintain and improve range of motion, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve functional activities.

For example, massage therapy can reduce stiffness and muscle soreness – although this should not be used in the first few days after the injury.

Appropriate strengthening programmes using tailored exercises are often required in the longer term to maximise recovery, and training regimens may need to be adjusted.5

Using multimodal approaches to relieve pain from sprains and strains

Multimodal therapy

A multimodal strategy is helpful

Pharmacological and physiotherapeutic interventions can be combined into a multimodal approach for managing sprains and strains. Guidelines recommend a range of intervention types.2

How can Ben be helped?

Ben

Ben

Ben has strained a muscle while running, and is struggling to work and take care of his children.

Ben wants effective pain relief and fast recovery.

Voltaren Triple Effect speeds recovery by relieving and reducing inflammation so Ben can get back on with his life.

FIND OUT MORE

Understanding sprains and strains

Causes icon

Causes

Find out about the causes of sprains and strains.

FIND OUT MORE

Signs and symptoms icons

Signs and symptoms

Explore an overview of how to recognise sprains and strains and know when to refer patients.

FIND OUT MORE

Joint and OA pain icon

Overview of joint and osteoarthritic pain

Find out about how joint and osteoarthritic pain are, and meet two patients with joint pain.

FIND OUT MORE

Learn more

Voltaren Emulgel 1%

Voltaren Emulgel 1% Emulgel for strains and sprains

Relieves pain, reduces inflammation and speeds up the natural healing process.6–8

LEARN MORE

Register now

Register now

Join the community.

Click here to register

Samples icon

Samples

Request samples for your patients online today.

REQUEST NOW