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How do you treat a soft tissue injury?

  • Comment
  • Article: Williams K (2012) Evidence on NSAID use in soft tissue injuries.Nursing Times; 108: 45, 12-14.

Key points

  • Ankle sprains account for up to 10% of attendances at emergency departments
  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) is the cornerstone of treatment of soft tissue injuries
  • For those requiring pain relief, paracetamol should be used as a first step
  • NSAID use may impede the inflammatory phase of healing
  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms are experienced by 10%-30% of people using NSAIDs

Let’s discuss

  • How do you treat a soft tissue injury? What advice would you give a patient presenting with a sprained ankle?
  • What analgesia would you recommend for pain?
  • After reading this article summarise the arguments against using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to treat soft tissue injury?
  • What drugs could you recommend as an alternative to NSAID?

You can email questions to or tweet @eileenshepherd

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