Causes Of Sprains And Strains

Twisted ankle?
Sprained wrist?
Pulled hamstring?
Thrown out your back?

Strains and Sprains – what’s the difference?

Strains and sprains are among the most common sports-related injuries, though they can also be caused in everyday life – while walking, lifting or during an accidental fall. While strains and sprains are often associated, they are actually quite different.

Strains – Injury to Muscle or Tendons

A strain is the stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon, and are often called pulled muscles. Back injuries (“I put my back out”) and hamstring (“I pulled a hamstring”) injuries are the most common strain-related injuries.

The common symptoms of a strain include::

  • Pain in and around the affected area
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising, which may indicate that the muscle or tendon is torn or ruptured

Strains occur when the muscle is stretched too far, in a sudden or unusual way. A muscle strain may occur running, jumping, throwing, lifting heavy objects or in a slip or fall. Chronic strains can occur due to a prolonged, repetitive movement of a muscle as in weightlifting.

Sprains – Injury to Ligaments

The sprain is the most common injury a person is likely to have several times in their life. Sprain injuries can occur in any person regardless if they are athletic or not. In order to figure out the sprain recovery time, it is first essential to understand what a sprain is.

Sprains are defined as injuries in a joint. This is typically caused when a ligament is stretched beyond its capacity. Similarly, muscle tears are in the same manner referred to as muscle strain, and it is another kind of injury. The worst case scenario when it comes to torn ligaments or muscle tissue involving immobilization and possibly a need for surgical repair. The most common areas for sprains to occur are in the ankle and wrist. A telltale sign of sprains aside from the obvious pain in the affected area would be evident swelling, bruising or redness, and difficulty moving the damaged joint.

Sprain recovery time for this type of injury varies greatly on several different factors. These include the extent of the sprain, the amount of swelling present, first aid care either self-done or through the help of a physician, and lastly any therapy or aftercare received. All of these play an important role when it comes to sprain recovery time.

There are several grades of sprain injuries and these are as follows:

Grade 1 –

Minor swelling accompanied by minor pain. This type involves a sprain recovery time of one to two weeks.

Grade 2 –

a Typical type of sprain with moderate pain and swelling. Sprain recovery time for this type varies and is dependent on the damage incurred by the ligament. Although it is not severe this grade of sprain injury can cause some issues. A four to six-week sprain recovery time is essential for this type of injury level.

Grade 3 –

The most serious of all is Grade 3. This not only involves major swelling and pain but some discoloration or bruising is highly evident. This sprain recovery time for this type takes the longest to heal. Often times the healing period can range from as little as two months to as much as four months. Again this will depend on the extent of the injury and the type of care it has received as well as rehabilitation.

As previously mentioned, sprain recovery time does not merely depend on the extent of the injury; it also involves the type of care received by the injured party. There is no foolproof way for a person to prevent the amount of a sprain injury. More often than not sprains, particularly sprained ankles are often caused by accident.

Sprain recovery time can be sped up if one of these 3 major strategies is employed.

The RICE techniques are the best-known method when it comes to speeding up a sprain recovery time. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Rest – Refrain from putting any pressure on the injured part of from using the said part. Use splints to eliminate any movement in that area, at least for the time immediately after the injury.

Ice – Any swelling goes down when ice is applied to that surface. Keep applying ice to the swollen area but do not keep it on for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Compression – Bandaging up the area to reduce any fluids seeping into the injured area and causing further swelling.

Elevation – By elevating the injured part above heart level the sprain recovery time is sped up as it is known to help alleviate and swelling.

Another important part of recovery is to seek medical attention. In many cases, self-diagnosis can lead to troublesome issues if not diagnosed properly. Physicians can properly assess the injury and employ the necessary treatment that will help in facilitating a speedier sprain recovery time.

Last but not the least would be the use of medications and topical ointments. Minor sprain injuries can easily be resolved with RICE and the use of muscle relaxants or pain relievers. Although there are many over the counter pain medications available, it is still best to seek the advice of a doctor to ensure proper healing and sprain recovery. It should be noted that sprains which are not treated accordingly can lead to dire results and cause further issues in the future.

If you suffer Strains you need to find a solution that will provide deep relief to the inflamed area and allow the healing process to accelerate to allow you to get back to the activities you enjoy.