Torn & Twisted

Nature: Safety
10-12 years, 12-14 years, 14-16 years
Anticipate Time
1 hour min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Cooperation, Obedience, Responsibility, Thoroughness


Pathfinders play three games to teach treatments for sprains and strains.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Attend to instructions accurately
  2. Identify and implement action based on symptoms of a strain
  3. Demonstrate knowledge on how to treat sprains and strains

Scripture Focus

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to . . . heal the brokenhearted.”
Pain can be emotional or physical. Wounds can be visible or invisible. Both need treating. Both need healing. The pain we explore
in this Pursuit is invisible, as are broken hearts – but the hurt is just as real. We may treat. God heals.

May we never inflict the heartfelt kind on our fellow Pathfinders!


  1. Assemble all materials.
  2. ‘Prepare’ your assistant with a ‘sprain’ – place something to the ‘affected area’ which will cause discolouration. (Swelling may be more difficult to simulate!)
  3. Review first aid for strains and sprains as well as technique for applying a compression bandage. See Appendix.
  • For ‘Strain the Friendship’ – A CD or tape player, and some suitable CD’s or tapes
  • For ‘Seek-a-Word’ – Pieces of paper, Pens, Scissors
  • For ‘Bandage Bears‘ – Roller Bandages and Ice Pack


1. Share the following clues to help define sprains and strains.
What Am I?

  • I am signalled usually by the sudden onset of pain.
  • The pain is usually sharp.
  • I bring on a loss of power in your movement.
  • Any additional movement brings on the pain again.
  • I am the over-stretching of a muscle or tendon.

What am I?
I am a strain

What Am I?

  • I am more acute than a strain.
  • I involve the stretching of ligaments beyond their normal range.
  • I can involve the tearing of ligaments.
  • I can involve the displacement of joint surfaces.
  • I am often associated with fractures of bones.
  • I can cause rapid swelling.
  • I can cause skin discolouration due to haemorrhaging beneath the skin.

What am I?
I am a sprain

2. Share how the intent of this Pursuit is to discover how to treat sprains and strains through a number of games. 
NB. Before game No. One: ‘Strain the Friendship’, simulate a sprain situation. Have one of your leaders ‘fall’ at the appropriate time, and proceed with a demonstration of the four stages of treatment in readiness for the game. (Remind the Pathfinders about the importance of treating the casualty for shock.)

Game One: Strain the Friendship.
Divide the Pathfinders into four groups. Give all the members in each group a word describing one aspect of the treatment of sprains and strains. 
Group One’s word would be Rest; those in group Two: Ice; those is group Three:Compression; and those in group Four: Elevation.
While music plays, all the Pathfinders will move around the hall in different directions.
When the music stops, the Pathfinders must find four members to make a complete treatment group and stand in correct order of treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Each time this game is played, the participants must fine a different set of team members.
Remember at all times, treat the casualty for shock.

Game Two: Sprain Seek-a-Word.
Ask each Pathfinder to write the four steps of treatment of sprains/strains on a piece of paper. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) Then ask them to cut each word into individual letters and place all the letters in a pile in the middle of the room.
On the cry: “Help!!!!” the Pathfinders will race to spell out the treatment in the correct order, using any of the letters.
Remember at all times, treat the casualty for shock.

Game Three: Bandage “Bears”
Divide the Pathfinders into pairs and then give each pair a specific sprain or strain to bandage.
Allow each Pathfinder to bandage an ankle, knee, wrist and elbow using a compression bandage.
Make sure that the R.I.C.E. order is followed ( Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Remember at all times, treat the casualty for shock.


Select from the questions below:

  • How would you describe a sprain?
  • How would you describe a sprain?
  • What is meant by R.I.C.E.?
  • How do you treat a casualty for shock?


  • Why have we done this Pursuit?
  • What are the possible benefits of being able to care for someone in this situation? (We are called to care for others in life as Christ would)
  • What are some other physical injuries that we know how to treat? How do we treat them? (Use this time as a review of other first aid treatments explored in the past)


  • Say something about Respect, Purposefulness, Responsibility, Thoroughness and Excellence as shown through this Pursuit?
  • Sprains and strains are physical injuries. What are emotional injuries?
  • How can we treat emotional hurts in people who we meet in life?


  • How can this make a difference to my relationships this week?



Sprains and Strains

Wrapping the ankle with a figure-of-eight bandage. (A) Start above the ankle and (B) wrap down under the foot. (C) Cross back and forth over the top of the foot and (D) continue in a figure-of-eight pattern to secure the ankle.

Taping a sprained ankle. (A) Strips of adhesive tape are placed perpendicular to each other to (B) lock the ankle with a tight weave. (C) The tape edges are covered to prevent peeling.

Pulling up on the toes to attain proper ankle position for wrapping.


RICE for minor injuries

Running, aerobics and other forms of exercise are good for your health, but these activities can raise your risk for sprained joints, strained muscles and other minor injuries. Proper care in the first day or two after injury can reduce the time you’re sidelined by it.

Should you suffer a sprain, strain or other muscle or joint injury, treat it with RICE — Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. RICE can relieve pain, limit swelling and protect the injured tissue, all of which help to speed healing.

Rest: Resting is important immediately after injury for two reasons: First, rest is vital to protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further injury. Second, your body needs to rest so it has the energy it needs to heal itself most effectively.

Ice: Use ice bags, cold packs or even a bag of frozen peas to provide cold to the injured area. Cold can provide short-term pain relief. It also limits swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. Keep in mind, though, that you should never leave ice on an injury for more than 20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage your skin. The best rule is to apply cold compresses for 20 minutes and then leave them off for at least 20 minutes.

Compression: Compression limits swelling, which slows down healing. Some people notice pain relief from compression as well. An easy way to compress the area of the injury is to wrap an ACE bandage over it. If you feel throbbing, or if the wrap just feels too tight, remove the bandage and re-wrap the area so the bandage is a little looser.

Elevation: Elevating an injury reduces swelling. It’s most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart. For example, if you injure your ankle, try lying on your bed with your foot propped on one or two pillows.

After a day or two of RICE, many sprains, strains or other injuries will begin to heal. But if your pain or swelling does not decrease after 48 hours, make an appointment to see your primary care physician or go to the emergency room, depending upon the severity of your symptoms.