Sprains and strains are commonplace injuries. They can occur at work, or they can occur on your off-time hiking or lifting weights at the gym. Regardless of when they happen, there are a few tips to follow immediately following one of these injuries to avoid further damage.
What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
Let’s start by defining the difference between a sprain and a strain. The two are not interchangeable. A sprain occurs at a joint, where ligaments have been stretched or torn (like a sprained ankle or sprained wrist). A strain, on the other hand, involves a muscle or tendon that has been used beyond its limit. It may overstretch or it may partially tear.
Immediate steps to take when you have a strain:
When you first feel an injury, seek immediate medical attention if:
- You heard a popping sound
- There is significant swelling and pain that is unrelieved by rest or compression
- You notice redness, can’t use or put weight on that joint, or you have a fever
These are signs that something is amiss, and you shouldn’t hesitate to get yourself checked out. On the other hand, if you felt pain that made you stop and take a breath, but none of the above symptoms occur, try this:
- It sounds overly simple but take a break from the movement or activity that caused you pain.
- If there is swelling but it isn’t significant, wrap it with ace bandage to apply compression.
- If you can tolerate it, apply an ice pack over the area. This can help with inflammation.
What should I do if my sprain or strain is not serious?
If a sprain or strain isn’t serious, rest and time will take care of it. However, if there is significant bruising, swelling, or pain that worsens rather than improves, medical attention is warranted.
Regardless of the severity, come and see us at Peak Form and we can get you feeling better sooner. Even if you have chronic ankle sprains and feel that is your lot in life to suffer, DON’T SUFFER! We can still help you. Give us a call today!