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strain involves overstretching or overuse of a muscle, ligament, or
tendon. The area may be swollen and you may find it difficult to use
it, move it, or bear weight on it. A sprain involves the tearing of
a muscle, ligament, or tendon around a joint. A sprain is more serious
than a strain and needs more intense treatment.
Sprains and Strains
Rest - Ice - Compression - Elevation
- Let the injury rest. The severity of the injury determines
I.ce - Apply ice to help keep swelling down for
48 to 72 hours after injury.
C.ompression - Elastic bandages wrapped firmly
but not to restrict blood flow.
E.levation - Elevate to heart level, foot above
the knee, hand above the elbow.
Color - Compare - Function - Pain
The Circulation Check
Pulse - Sensory - Swelling - Temperature
you or your doctor wraps the injured area in a bandage or cast,
there are circulation checks that you must do to make sure the bandage
or cast is not too tight. A too-tight bandage or cast can cut off
the blood supply to the injured area and to the hands, fingers,
feet, or toes; it can also press on muscles and nerves and damage
- Capillary Refill: Push down on a fingernail
or toenail of the injured limb. The pink color of nail will return
in 2 to 4 seconds.
- Color: The injured part is usually paler than
the surrounding tissues. If the area is very red, purple, or blue,
you should call your doctor.
- Compare: Compare the injured side (arm, leg)
to the other side (arm, leg). Do you notice any changes in color,
temperature, and swelling.
- Function: You should be able to bend or flex
the fingers or toes on an injured limb. Call your doctor if you
can't bend them or if it hurts when you do so.
You will have some dull, aching pain in the injured area. Call
your doctor if you feel a sudden increase in the type or severity
- Pulse: There are several pulses that should
be felt and counted if an arm or leg is in a cast. The physician
will show you how to count the peripheral pulses.
- Sensory: Call your doctor if the toes or fingers
of your injured limb are numb or tingling or feel as if they are
asleep. If you are wearing a bandage, loosen it.
- Swelling: The injured part will be more swollen,
but the skin around it should not be tight. Call your doctor if
there is swelling or skin tightness.
- Temperature: The injured part is usually cooler
than the surrounding tissues. Call your doctor if it feels warm
New treatments are tested and monitored in a carefully controlled
clinical setting and the results are published. There are three types
of clinical trials:
The Clinical Trial
Testing New Treatments
Phase I: Phase I trials determine how to
provide a new treatment and how much is safe.The treatment must first
be tested on animals and approved for human trials. These trials involve
patients with advanced diseases that are willing to undergo new treatments.
Phase II: Phase II trials study the effect
of a new treatment on patients whose cancer has not been cured by
standard treatments. There is a possibility that the treatment may
benefit these patients. A treatment reaching phase II trials has gone
through phase I trials.
Phase III: Phase III trials compare new
treatments to current treatments. These trials require many patients.
One group of patients receives the experimental treatment, and another
is given a standard treatment. Randomization is used to keep bias
out of the trials.
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