What's Going Around

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The icy conditions and the cold are contributing to what's going around this week.

Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at McLaren Greater Lansing-DeWitt Family Medicine is treating ankle sprains, as people slip on the ice.

With most sprains, you feel pain right away. There's swelling, bruising or redness over the joint, and the area is tender to touch and hurts to move.

Immediate treatment includes the PRINCE approach:
--Protect the ankle with a brace
--Rest the ankle
--Ice the ankle until swelling goes down
--NSAIDS like Advil or Motrin
--Compress the area with a bandage
--Elevate the ankle whenever possible

It's not a bad idea to see a doctor if you think your ankle is sprained.

The cold weather can also trigger arthritis pain, which Eckerson is seeing patients complaining of.

Symptoms include stiffness or sore, painful joints, as well as joint pain that gets worse in the evening after daily activities.

Finding a gym or heated space to stretch and exercise may help relieve pain.

You should also maintain a healthy weight, try physical or occupational therapy, take medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, apply heat or cold packs, and try using a cane or walker.

You should see a doctor if the pain interferes with daily activities, making it hard to walk, climb stairs, lift things or sleep.

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