Call 911 if:
- There's significant swelling, pain, fever, bleeding, or open cuts.
- The person heard a “popping” sound or can’t walk, and there is no other way that they can safely and quickly be transported to a medical facility.
1. Control Swelling and Prevent Further Injury With PRICE
- Protect by applying an elastic bandage, sling, or splint.
- Rest the muscle for at least a day.
- Ice immediately, and continue to ice for 10 to 15 minutes every hour, for 2-3 days.
- Compress by gently wrapping with an Ace or other elastic bandage. (Don't wrap tightly.)
- Elevate injured area above the person's heart level, if possible, for at least 24 hours.
2. Manage Pain and Inflammation
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Do not give aspirin to anyone under age 18.
3. Follow Up
- Elevate and ice the area every 3 to 4 hours after the first day.
4. When to Call a Doctor
Call a health care provider if:
- After a day or two the person can't move or put weight on the affected area.
- The injured area is cool, pale, or changes color.
- There is tingling or numbness.
- There is new or severe pain.
- The person needs advice on how (and how soon) to resume normal exercise and activity.