Sprains and Strains Treatment Clinic Q&A
If you are suffering from sprains or strains, you may experience muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness, as well as swelling or bruising in the injured area, and limited ability to move the affected joint. For the above-mentioned conditions, you can visit us at Nova Patient Care. For more information, contact us or request an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Woodbridge VA, Falls Church VA, Pentagon City, Arlington VA, Kingstowne Center, Alexandria, VA, and Richmond Hwy Alexandria VA.
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If you have ever tried to define strains and sprains and can’t seem to tell the difference between them, you are not alone. These two terms are frequently used interchangeably to describe tearing or overstretching the soft tissues in or around the joints. Understanding the difference will help you differentiate between the two and can allow you to take appropriate preventative measures.
Most sprains and strains are caused by minor trauma, most often due to a sports injury. They can also be caused by doing many other things that life demands from us, whether from work or an accident. Sprains are injuries to a ligament caused by twisting or wrenching a joint. Strains are injuries that happen to the muscles or tendons caused by force, stretching, or overuse. The ankle is the joint where most sprains and strains happen.
The most frequent causes of sprains are overextension of a joint that will cause a tear in the ligaments. Sprains are often caused:
– In the ankle by exercising or walking on uneven surfaces, or landing poorly from a jump
– In the knees from turning during athletic activities
– In the wrist from trying to break a fall by reaching out to catch yourself
– In the thumb from overextension
Acute strains are most often caused by one event, like lifting something incorrectly. Chronic strains result from recurring injuries to a single part of the body by repetitive motions.
A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are tough fibrous tissues that connect bones together at the joints. The most common joint to get sprained is the ankle.
Initial treatment for a sprain includes ice, rest, compression, and elevation. Mild sprains can easily be treated at home, and severe sprains may require surgery if the ligaments are torn and not just stretched.
A sprain differs from a strain in that the sprain is damage to the tissue that connects the bones together. A strain is damage to the tissue that connects the bones to the muscle or to the muscle itself.
The signs and symptoms of a sprain will vary; this will depend on the severity of the injury, and the symptoms can include:
– Limited movement in the affected joint
– The feeling or hearing of a popping sound in the joint at the time the injury occurs.
Since much of the damage is similar in sprains and strains, it is often difficult to know when you are dealing with each. Most of the symptoms of sprains and strains are mostly the same, such as swelling, pain at the joint, limited mobility, and limited range of motion. Because of the cause, a sprain will often have bruising associated with it. A strain is more likely to have muscle spasms associated with it, which doesn’t happen with a sprain.
Not knowing whether you have a sprain or a strain may not be as important as you think. For mild sprains and strains, you can treat them at home with the same approach. Allow the affected area to rest. Treat the area with ice to reduce inflammation. Use some form of compression to keep the swelling down and limit the use of the area. And finally, keep the affected area elevated to reduce swelling.
If you are having difficulty walking or standing without pain, cannot move or flex that injured joint, or are feeling tingling or numbness around the injured area, you should contact a doctor to have it assessed. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to repair the damage.
Nova Patient Care can help treat sprains and strains. If you need help and can’t wait to see your primary care provider, we are available for walk-in treatment and open later than many primary care practices. We are also open on weekends. Contact us today! We serve patients from Woodbridge VA, Bethel VA, Dale City VA, Old Town Alexandria VA, Huntington VA, Fort Hunt VA, Arlington VA, Mclean VA, Idylwood VA, Kingstowne Center Alexandria VA, Franconia VA, Newington VA, Falls Church VA, Annandale VA, Tysons VA, Richmond Hwy Alexandria VA, Pentagon City Arlington VA, Seven Corners VA, Lake Barcroft, VA and surrounding areas.
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