STRAINS & SPRAINS

Sprains occur when a ligament is overstretched or torn. Strains are a twist, pull and/or tear of a muscle and/or tendon.

WHAT ARE STRAINS & SPRAINS AND HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE ONE?

If a sprain is mild, the joint remains stable. A moderate sprain partially tears the ligament, making the joint unstable. When a sprain is severe, the ligaments tear away from the bone, and this affects the function of the joint.

Sprained ankles are the most common type of sprain, and a previously sprained ankle is more likely to sprain again.

Chronic strains, ones that last over time, are the result of overuse of muscles and tendons, through prolonged, repetitive movement. Not getting enough rest during intense training can cause a strain.

With a mild strain, the muscle or tendon is stretched or pulled slightly but not torn. With a moderate strain, the muscle/tendon is overstretched and slightly torn. In a severe strain, there is a serious partial or complete rupture of the muscle and/or tendon, and this requires immediate medical care.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR STRAINS & SPRAINS?

Ligaments are the soft tissue that connects bone to bone. They stabilize and support the body’s joints. For example, ligaments in the knee connect the upper leg with the lower leg, and this allows you to walk and run.  Tendons are soft tissue that connects muscle to bone. Acute strains, ones that occur suddenly, are caused by stretching or pulling a muscle or tendon.

Sprains and Strains can typically be treated with rest, relaxation and conservative treatment with physical therapy. X-rays are helpful in confirming sprains and/strains rather than fractures.

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