Overuse injuries, mild sprains and strains and arthritis can often be initially treated at home using a protection, rest, ice regime for the first two to three days after the onset of symptoms:

  • Protection – protect the affected area from further injury; for example, avoid the painful activities that may have caused the injury

  • Rest – rest the area for two to three days only. Resting for a short time may help any inflammation or discomfort to settle. However resting beyond two to three days may lead to the surrounding muscles becoming stiff and weaker which will not be helpful in the longer term.

  • Ice – should you notice any swelling or tenderness around the joint, apply an ice pack to the affected area for about 15 minutes every two to three hours. This may help to reduce the swelling and give some pain relief. Please be sure to wrap the ice pack in a moist towel or similar to avoid direct contact with the skin.

Top tip: A bag of frozen peas, or similar, will work equally as well.