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If you sprain or strain yourself on the trail, what should you do? First, immobilize the injured area. Apply ice, but cover it with a cloth or plastic to prevent frostbite. This will reduce the swelling and numb the area. Ice for no longer than 20 minutes at at time. Stop application when the area is numb. Do this on and off for the first 72 hours of treatment. After this time, apply heat compresses to aid in healing.