What to Do with Bruises, Sprains and Strains

Bruising: Caused by a fall or a hard or heavy blow. Bleeding into the deep tissues occurs.

Sprain: Occurs when a joint goes beyond its normal range of movement. Bleeding into the tissues occurs.

Strain: Occurs when a muscle or a group of muscles are over stretched.

Signs and Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Cannot weight bear.
  • Discolouration
  • Loss of movement around the injury.


  • Follow the Basic First Aid Plan to assess the casualty
  • Rest and support the injured limb.
  • Ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling and to aid in healing. Up to 20 minutes.
  • Compression bandage is applied for support.
  • Elevate the limb to reduce any further swelling.
  • Refer injury to a doctor.

How to Apply an Ice Pack

Every alternative 20 minutes for the first 2 hours. Then 20 minutes every 2 hours for the next 48 hours.

  • Do not place ice directly onto the skin. It can damage the skin. Wrap it in a wet towel.
  • Do not apply heat.