These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably by people to reflect an injury that they have sustained. They are actually two quite different things.
What is the difference?
Sprain: A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are the fibrous tissue bands that connect two separate bones together in a joint.
Strain: A strain is sustained when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far, too fast and without enough warm up. Tendons are cords of tissue that are used to connect bone to muscle.
Though the symptoms are often the same – Pain, swelling, limited motion, limited flexibility, Sprains often leave a bruise of broken blood vessels whereas a strain does not and can cause muscle spasms.
How Strains and Sprains happen:
Our bodies are amazing machines, but they are still fallible and prone to injury.
Injury can occur – during exercise or sports, though accidents such as slipping and falling, if you overexert yourself if you lift too heavy of an object, or even though chronic repetitive motions. Even sitting in awkward positions can sometimes do it.
The most commonly affected areas are the back, wrists, knees, ankles, and thumbs. If it bends? You can strain or sprain it.
Injuries such as these can be easily diagnosed by your doctor during a manual exam. No X-rays are needed unless a broken bone is suspected.
You can limit the change of injury by keeping yourself in good physical shape. This doesn’t mean you need to be a gym rat, but stretching and regular exercise keeps your body strong. Don’t exercise if you are too tired that day to hold good form. Irregular movements can cause unwanted injuries. Wear proper foot attire especially if working out outdoors, traction and avoiding slips is key.
What to do if you have a sprain or strain
#1 Stay off of it. Rest while you allow your body some time to heal.
#2 Compression – Helps to reduce swelling. wrap in medical tape or bandages.
#3 Elevation – Sit tight and try to keep the injury above your heart.
#4 Ice – Never apply ice directly to your skin. Wrap in a paper towel or cloth. Leave ice on for 5 to 10 minutes and repeat hourly.
Generally, strains and sprains will simply heal themselves, though the severity of the injury will affect how long it takes to heal. If the pain from your injury doesn’t seem to subside over time or your range of motion doesn’t seem to be returning make sure to schedule an appointment to see your doctor.
Chiropractor in Ft Myers, FL, and Naples, FL
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor in Fort Myers and Naples, can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.