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Sprains and strains are very common injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments. They normally heal within a couple of weeks. Read more to learn about when it is important to seek medical attention and how best to treat sprains and strains at home.
Sprains and strains are very common injuries that affect muscles and ligaments. They often occur if you change direction or speed suddenly, fall and land awkwardly or collide with an object or person – such as when playing sports. Learn about the difference between strains and sprains and when to seek medical attention.
Following a sprain or strain the usual advice is to pay the PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and avoid HARM (Heat, Alcohol, Running, and Massage) for the first 48-72 hours after injury. Painkillers may be needed. Most sprains and strains heal within a few weeks.
Get an eConsult response
within 24 hours
Medical Care when we are closed
NON-EMERGENCY: Have a look at out "Get health information" page. Alternatively, call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.
MINOR INJURIES: We do not provide a minor injuries service. You should attend A&E or a local minor iunjuries unit. The LIVE WAITING times for these services are listed here.
EMERGENCY: Dial 999 or go to your nearest A&E Department (you must not dial 999 for anything other than an emergency)
If you do need to attend the emergency department at Torbay Hospital please read this leaflet.