First Aid Techniques
At the Emergency Scene
Action in An Emergency
Assessing a Casualty
Maintaining Airway,
Breathing, and Circulation
What to do When Somebody has Collapsed
The recovery Position for
The recovery Position for
Children and Babies
Rescue Breathing for Adults
Rescue Breathing for
Children and Babies
CPR for Adults
CPR for Children and Babies
Choking in Adults
Choking in Children
Choking in Babies
Everyday First Aid
Minor Wounds
Infected Wounds
Dealing with Splinters and
Fish Hooks
Foreign Bodies
Animal Bites
Insect Bites and Stings
More on Bites and Stings
Earaches, Toothache, and
Sore Throat
Abdominal Pain
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Hysteria, Hiccups, and Panic
Equipment, Medicines, and Complementary Medicine
Using Dressings and Cold
First Aid Kit for the Home
First Aid Kit for the Car
Wilderness First Aid Kit
Observation Chart/Victim
Storing and Using Medication
Commonly Prescribed
What They Do and Side
Drug Interactions
The Complementary
Medicine Chest
Sprains and Strains

Strains occur when the muscle is overstretched, leading to a particular tear. Sprains are injuries to a ligament, a tough band tissue that links two bones together at or near a joint. Commonly sprained joints include the wrist, knee, and ankle.


The person suffering the injury may often sense that the area is not broken—she may have suffered similar injuries before particularly if the injury has occurred through sport. If both of you are confident that there is no other injury, then the best treatment is:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  1. Place the injured part at rest. This prevents any further damage. Help the person into a comfortable position—for a leg injury, this will usually be lying down with head and shoulders supported.

  2. Apply a cold compress. Wrap some ice in a triangular bandage or other clean piece of material and hold gently on the site of the injury. This will help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the injury because this may damage the skin. Cool the injury for 10-15 minutes, keeping the compress cold with refills as necessary.

  3. Apply a compressing gauze wrap. This will help reduce pain and swelling and will provide support for the injury.

  4. Elevate the injured part. Elevation will help reduce swelling and pain. If the arm is injured, use either the other arm or elevation sling as appropriate to provide additional support.

  5. Seek medical assistance and make sure the victim keeps the limb raised and supported until help arrives.


The signs and symptoms of strains, and more particularly sprain, are very similar to those of a broken bone. There may be pain, particularly on movement, swelling, and bruising (usually a little while after the accident). It is often impossible to tell if an injury is a sprain or a fracture without an X-ray and it is not unusual for sprains to take as long a time to heal a simple break.

If in doubt, treat the injury as a broken bone and seek further medical help.


If ice is not readily available, soak a flannel or other piece of material in very cold water, wring it out, and apply to the injury. Replace this every 2-3 minutes as the material warms up. Alternatively, consider the contents of the freezer. Frozen peas make an excellent cold compress as the bag conforms to the shape of the injury.
Vomiting and Diarrhea

First Aid Procedures
Breathing Difficulties
Anaphylactic Shock
Heart Problems
Treatment of External Bleeding
Bleeding from the Head or
Treating Chest or Abdominal
Crush Injuries, Impalement,
and Amputation
Internal Bleeding
Eye Wounds and Embedded
Bleeding from Special Sites
Controlling Bleeding from the Mouth and Nose
Fractures, Discolorations, and
Soft Tissue Injuries
How to Treat Fractures
Fractures of the Skull, Face,
and Jaw
Fractures of the Upper Body
Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Fractures of the Ribcage
Recognizing Back and Spinal
If you have to move the Victim
Unconscious Victim
Injuries to the Lower Body
Injuries to the Lower Leg
Sprains and Strains
Burns and Scalds
Treating Other Types of Burn
Chemical Burns and Eye Burns
Extreme Cold
Extreme Heat
Poisoning from Household
Poisoning from Industrial
Drug Poisoning
Alcohol Poisoning
Food Poisoning
Emergency Childbirth
Wilderness First Aid
What to Do if You are a Long Way from Help
Wilderness First Aid
Avalanche and Snow Survival Techniques
Cold Water Survival
Stretcher Improvising
Loading and Carrying a
One-and-Two-Person Carries
Helicopter Rescue