Sprains and strains

What are Sprains and Strains?

Sprains and strains are common types of injuries that affect the ligaments, tendons, or muscles in the body. Sprains occur when ligaments, which are bands of tissue that connect bones to each other, are stretched or torn, usually as a result of sudden twisting or impact. Symptoms of a sprain may include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected joint. Strains, on the other hand, occur when muscles or tendons, which are fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones, are stretched or torn, often due to overuse or overstretching. 

Symptoms of a strain may include pain, swelling, muscle weakness, and limited range of motion. Treatment for sprains and strains typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), as well as over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

Physical therapy, splints, braces, or other supportive devices may also be recommended in some cases, depending on the severity of the injury. Severe sprains or strains may require medical intervention, such as casting, immobilization, or surgical repair. Rehabilitation exercises and gradual return to activity are typically recommended to restore strength, flexibility, and function after a sprain or strain injury.

When is it necessary to see a doctor?

It may not always be necessary to see a doctor for minor sprains or strains that are not causing severe pain or impairment in movement. However, if you experience severe pain, swelling, inability to bear weight, or if the injury involves a joint that appears deformed, it is important to seek medical evaluation. Additionally, if the pain and swelling persist or worsen despite home care measures, or if you have a history of recurrent sprains or strains, it is advisable to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and management.

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