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Time out for strains and sprains

Alan Nathan helps you stay on the ball with advice on the latest OTC treatments for sporting injuries and general musculoskeletal pain.

A young man hobbles painfully up to the medicines counter and asks for advice about his ankle. He said that he hurt it in a tackle while playing football two weeks ago.

The team’s coach told him that he had sprained it and that it might take a few weeks to heal completely, and had advised him to use oral painkillers and a topical analgesic cream for the pain.

However, it is still extremely painful and he cannot bear to put any weight on it. He wonders if there is anything stronger you could recommend. He said a friend had suggested that he should use rice, but that sounded a bit strange to him.

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