Sprains and strains

What are sprains and strains?

Sprains and strains are two most common injuries in sports injuries. A tear or stretching of the ligament is called a sprain, whereas, a strain is a tear or stretching of the muscle or tendon.

What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?

The signs and symptoms of sprains and strains will differ based on various factors.

Symptoms of sprains include:

  • Pain

  • Bruising

  • Swelling

  • Limited range of motion

  • A “pop” spound in the joint

Symptoms of strains include:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Limited range of motion of the affected muscle

  • Muscle spasms

What causes sprains and strains?

Sprains are usually caused due to a tear in the ligament due to over stress to the joint. Strains are usually caused due to the overstrain of muscles. A strain can be acute or chronic.

How are sprains and strains diagnosed?

The doctor will have a physical examination of the affected joint. He/she may recommend an x-ray or an MRI to diagnose the issue.

How are sprains and strains treated?

Treatment of sprains and strains depend on the following factors:

  • Severity of the injury

  • The joint involved in the injury

Major treatment options for sprains and strains include:

  • Medications- For mild cases, self-care and over-the-counter medications will be enough.

  • Therapy- Mild and moderate cases of sprains and strains can be tackled with physical therapies and other techniques like RICE, immobilization, etc.

  • Surgery- It is recommended only if there is a tear in the ligament or rupture in the muscle.

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