How To Treat Ligament Injuries

Going to a doctor can teach you how to treat ligament injuries, but many can be treated at home. A ligament injury, also known as a sprain or strain, is caused by stretching or tearing of the ligaments. Ankles are the most common location of sprains.

  1. Go to the doctor if you are in severe pain. If cannot move the joint, have numbness in the location of the any ligament injuries or see redness or red streaks coming from the joint, the doctor may need to perform an x-ray and put you in a bandage or splint.

  2. Wrap an elastic bandage over the joint. Wrap the end that is further away from your heart and work over the area until it is covered. Loosen the wrap if there is more pain or it is too tight. Wrapping the area will help treat ligament injuries with compression to reduce swelling.

  3. Apply ice to any ligament injuries as soon as possible. Ice can keep swelling down and minimize pain. Keep the ice on the location for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, every two to three hours.

  4. Elevate the ligament injury above heart level, even while sleeping. This can help treat ligament injuries by draining any extra fluid from the area.

  5. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to keep the pain at bay.

  6. Gently start to use the area after two days. Increase its support a little each day until the area has healed. The area will be susceptible to more ligament injuries while it is healing, so do not over-exert yourself.


Mayo Clinic: Sprains and Strains

Medline Plus: Sprains and Strains

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