Sprains and strains: Management

Man holding back

Managing muscular sprains and strains

Fortunately, sprains and strains typically respond well to treatment.

Most injuries of this type will feel better after 2 weeks, although severe injuries may take several months to return to normal.1

Here we review the different approaches that could help your patient get back to enjoying their life.

Guideline recommendations for treating sprains and strains

Summary of NICE guidance on treating strains and sprains

Sprains and strains can be managed simply in the first 72 hours following the injury

According to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, patients with sprains or strains should be advised to follow the PRICE and HARM protocols in the first few days after the injury.2

Read more about these approaches below.

Analgesics can be used to relieve pain from sprains and strains

Analgesics can be used to relieve pain from sprains and strains

S0 20 g, 50 g S1 100 g. Voltaren Emulgel. Each 100 g of gel contains 1,16 g diclofenac diethylamine corresponding to 1 g diclofenac sodium. Reg.No.: U/3.1/77. Indicated for use in adults and adolescents older than 12 years. Safety in pregnancy and lactation has not been established. Consult your pharmacist/ healthcare professional if needed. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare South Africa (Pty) Ltd. 39 Hawkins Avenue, Epping Industria 1, Cape Town, 7460. Reg. No: 2014/173930/07. For full prescribing information refer to the professional information approved by the medicines regulatory authority. For any further information, including safety, please contact the GSK Hotline on +27 11 745 6001 or 0800118274.

Always read the label before use

Trademarks are owned by or licensed to GSK group of companies.

Utilising physical therapy to improve outcomes

Massage and exercise

Physiotherapeutic interventions can be beneficial for soft-tissue injuries

Treatment and rehabilitation plans must be individually tailored to maintain and improve range of motion, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve functional activities.

For example, massage therapy can reduce stiffness and muscle soreness – although this should not be used in the first few days after the injury.

Appropriate strengthening programmes using tailored exercises are often required in the longer term to maximise recovery, and training regimens may need to be adjusted.5

Using multimodal approaches to relieve pain from sprains and strains

Multimodal therapy

A multimodal strategy is helpful

Pharmacological and physiotherapeutic interventions can be combined into a multimodal approach for managing sprains and strains. Guidelines recommend a range of intervention types.2

How can Ben and Nicholas be helped?



Ben has strained a muscle while running, and is struggling to work and take care of his children.

Ben wants effective pain relief and fast recovery.

Voltaren Emulgel speeds recovery by relieving and reducing inflammation so Ben can get back on with his life.

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Voltaren Emulgel provides effective relief of muscle pain so Nicholas can get on with his life.

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Understanding sprains and strains

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Find out about the causes of sprains and strains.

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Signs and symptoms icons

Signs and symptoms

Explore an overview of how to recognise sprains and strains and know when to refer patients.

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Acute Musculo Skeletal pain icon

Overview Acute Musculo Skeletal pain

Acute musculoskeletal pain is seen almost every day in pharmacy practice. Many patients will present with pain following a sport or work injury. Many of these injuries can be caused by a patient overexerting themselves and leading to muscle or joint inflammation. Conditions such as low-back pain, muscle pain affect a large number of patient.8,9 Most patients with mild to moderate pain can be managed with the large selection of pain relievers.

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Voltaren Emulgel

Voltaren Emulgel

Relieves pain, reduces inflammation and speeds up the natural healing process.6–8

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Supporting appropriate pain recommendations in the pharmacy

The role of Calpol Tablets and Voltaren Emulgel In managing your Customers pain.

A customer in pain is one of the most common presentations seen in pharmacy practice. Although there are a vast number of conditions that cause mild to moderate pain, many of them can be effectively managed by over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers

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Patient care resources

Download resources for your patients.

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