Sprains and strains are very common musculoskeletal injuries, typically caused by sports activities. Although they are very similar and are usually treated with similar methods there are differences between the two. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of a ligament, the fibrous band of connective tissue joining the end of one bone to another and a strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon, the fibrous cord of tissue connecting muscle to bone.
A sprain is caused by trauma to the body that forces the joint beyond normal range of motion. Some examples include walking/ exercising on uneven surface (ankle), pivoting during an athletic activity (knee), landing on an outstretched hand during a fall (wrist), skiing or playing racquet sports (thumb). There are two types of strains: acute and chronic. Acute strain occurs when a muscle becomes strained or pulled when overstretched and suddenly contract typically from running, jumping, throwing, or lifting a heavy object in an awkward position. Chronic strain results from overuse or repetitive stress of muscles and tendons. Some of the risk factors for both include poor muscle conditioning, fatigue, and improper warm-ups.
Treatment depends on the severity of the sprain or strain. There are different levels or “grades” of severity such as: Grade 1 (mild) which involves stretching and minor tearing of ligament or muscle, Grade 2 (moderate) in which the muscle or ligament is partially torn but intact, and Grade 3 (severe) which means the ligament or muscle is completely torn. Treating a grade 1 or mild strain or sprain usually just requires RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and some therapeutic exercise to restore strength and flexibility. Grade 2 is similar but may also require immobilization of the injury. Grade 3 however may require surgery in addition to immobilization and eventual therapeutic exercise. Physical therapy is usually recommended for moderate and severe injuries to restore function safely and quickly.
At Hohman Rehab, we treat all sprains and strains in the Clermont 34711 area with one-on-one care to get you back to normal as quickly as possible.