Dehydration can put you at greater risk of spraining or straining. A sprain is injury of a ligament, and a strain is injury of the muscle.

Sprains and strains have different categories depending on their severity. Severity can go from a minor injury with slight micro-trauma all the way to complete tearing.

The RICE protocol is effective in managing the acute sprain/strain:

REST: rest from activity.

ICE: Apply ice wrapped in kitchen foil or a tea towel for 15 minutes at a time multiple times a day.

COMPRESSION: A compression bandage will prevent additional swelling.

ELEVATION: Lifting the injured limb above the heart will encourage good circulation and reduce swelling.

Rather than experience a sprain/strain, prevention is easier! Hydration is the key to this, drinking water 15 minutes before starting to exercise as well as sipping water every 20 minutes whilst exercising.

Dehydration is a common cause of cramp, continuing to exercise if you are cramping can lead to injury, so it is important to take on plenty of fluids.

Hydration is key day to day, as well as when exercising. You may not be going to the gym, but lots of lifting and carrying either at work or at home still constitutes a workout! It is common to sprain/ strain doing innocent day to day movements not just big and dramatic movements for sport. Making sure you are well hydrated all the time is one factor in reducing you risk of injury.