Sprains and Strains
Although sprains and strains sound similar, they are two different conditions that affect the body. Sprains occur when a patient abnormally stretches or tears a ligament (the tissue that connects two or more bones) that supports a joint. Sprains commonly occur at the ankle area. It can also occur in the wrist, especially when people slip and try to break the fall with their hands.
However, Strains occur when a patient abnormally stretches or tears a muscle or tendon (tissue that connects the muscle to the bone). Strains commonly occur at the lower back area and the back of your thigh muscle (hamstring). People who play sports are at risk for strains in the back, hamstring muscle or legs. The arms, hands and elbow are also susceptible when playing sports.
An impact that forces a joint out of its normal place will cause a sprain. Below is a list of causes for Sprain:
- Fall on an outstretched hand will damage the wrist
- Pivoting during a physical activity and the twisting of the knee
- Skiing or overextension when playing certain sports will damage the thumb
- Walking, jogging, running or exercising on an uneven surface will damage the ankle
- Traumatic/forceful impact
There are two types of strains; an acute (sudden) strain and chronic (prolonged) strain. Below is a list of causes for an Acute Strain:
- Overextension and overstress onto the muscle
- Running, jumping and/or throwing
- Lifting heavy objects in an improper/awkward manner
- A traumatic or recent injury, like a slip and fall
A chronic strain is caused by repetitive movement of a muscle.
Pain and swelling are two common symptoms associated with both sprains and strains.
Individuals with sprains often experience symptoms such as bruising, and limited mobility of the affected joint. People with sprains may also hear a “popping” sound when extending the affected joint area.
Individuals with strains often experience symptoms such as muscle spasms, muscle weakness, cramping, and difficulties moving the affected body part.
If you are unable to walk or if you are experiencing numbness in that area, be sure to seek proper medical attention from your primary care physician.
Treatments for sprains and strains usually consist of rest, and medications in order to reduce the pain. Applying ice to the injured areas for 20 minutes at a time for 4 to 8 times a day would also be beneficial to reduce the swelling. A brace, crutches and/or cane may also be provided to the patient if the pain is disabling. Elevating the injured area and placing a pillow underneath the ankle, knee, elbow or wrist will also be helpful. Other treatment options may also be recommended depending on the injury and severity.
After the pain becomes minimal and tolerable, the doctor will most likely recommend exercise and/or physical therapy. This option will help increase strength and mobility of the injured area while preventing stiffness as well. Sports may also be permitted, but starting on any rigorous physical activity may injure that area again. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
In rare cases, surgery may be considered for severe conditions, such as a ruptured muscle or torn ligament.
The physicians at Healthpointe are an important resource for information regarding muscle and joint injuries. Physical therapists and chiropractors at Healthpointe successfully rehabilitate people with these injuries on a daily basis.
Sprains and Strains Treatment in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County:
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Anaheim
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Colton
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Corona
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Garden Grove
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Irwindale
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near La Mirada
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Long Beach
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Los Angeles
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Ontario
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Perris
- Sprains and Strains Treatment in and near Temecula
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