Most mild ligament injuries or sprains respond well to rest, ice, compression and elevation or RICE therapy, according to Mayo Clinic. More severe injuries may require immobilizing the joint with a brace or splint and, in some cases, surgery.
In addition to RICE therapy, individuals may also take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, notes Mayo Clinic. Doctors recommend gently and gradually using the joint two days after the injury, but full recovery can take three to six weeks.
To prevent ligament injuries, individuals should engage in stretching and conditioning exercises appropriate for the activity and use supportive footwear, advises Mayo Clinic.