Remember P.R.I.C.E. – five simple rules to help speed up your recovery in the first 72 hours of a sprain (ligament) or strain (muscle) injury.
P is for PROTECTION. Protect the injured area from sustaining any more damage.
R is for REST. Allow the injury time to heal.
I is for ICE. Ice should be applied to an injured area as soon as possible. Use the 10/10/10 method of ice application: 10 minutes of ice; followed by 10 minutes of rest without ice; followed by 10 minutes of ice again. Do not apply heat. Ice works to reduce pain and inflammation to your injured muscles, joints and tissues and may even slow bleeding if a tear has occurred.
C is for COMPRESSION. Use a tensor bandage to wrap the injured area. When wrapping, begin at the end furthest away from the heart.
E is for ELEVATION. If possible, raise the injured area above the level of the heart, especially at night, by putting a pillow under the injured area.
After the first 48 hours, slowly start to use the injured area again and continue icing for another day. If you are unsure of the severity of your injury, consult a chiropractor for an evaluation.