How to Treat a Sprain

Here's an east way to remember how to heal a sprain or strain  

Credit: Flickr / Foxtongue

Minimize the damage of a muscle injury with the P.R.I.C.E. protocol

Treat a sprain or strain with this easy-to-remember acronym

Sprains, strains, pulls and tears can happen with any vigorous activity.

But whatever the injury, it’s important to act quickly to minimize the damage and promote healing.

Use the P.R.I.C.E. protocol – an acronym for a first-aid treatment process that involves protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.


  1. Protection – Stop the activity and protect the injured area. Don’t put any weight on the limb.
  2. Rest – Allow the injured area to rest completely.
  3. Ice – Wrap a cold pack in a thin towel and apply it to the injured area to reduce pain and swelling.
  4. Compression – Wrapping a compression bandage around a swollen area can help reduce pain and swelling. If you feel throbbing, loosen the bandage.
  5. Elevate – Raise the injured area above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. If your leg is injured, lie down and raise the leg on a pillow.

Note: If swelling and pain persist for more than 48 hours, see your doctor.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.