You should now call NHS 24 on 111 day or night before attending the Minor Injuries Department.
In the case of a life-threatening emergency dial 999 for assistance.
Musculoskeletal Injuries including sprains and strains can often be self managed with the advice below.
In the first 24 to 48 hours
- Elevate your injured area to improve swelling.
- Ice may help to ease the pain. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Over the counter medication can be helpful. Please discuss options with your local pharmacist who will likely recommend paracetamol as first line pain relief. (Always check the label before use.) See your GP if you require alternative pain medication.
- A tubigrip or support may help relieve pain in the short term.
- Short term rest and using a walking aid may help reduce pain with a lower limb injury.
- Avoid any unnecessary treatment or investigations.
Longer Term Management
- An active approach including movement and exercise is beneficial.
- Return to normal activities as quickly as pain allows.
- Fear can cause a barrier to recovery. Being positive improves quality of life and can improve outcome!
- General exercise will improve blood flow to the injured area. This will improve function, encourage recovery and reduce the need for pain medication. Try to continue regular exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling as you are able.
- There is strong evidence supporting the use of exercises. This will help improve movement, strength and balance which is commonly reduced after an injury.
It is common for soft tissue injuries to take 6 – 8 weeks to recover.
If you feel you are not recovering and wish further advice, please contact your local GP practice.
- For more advice on sprains and strains, please visit the NHS website.
- For more information on specific minor injuries please visit the patient information leaflets page.