This truth sheet has general information around sprains and strains, which are both an extremely common injuries. Individual sections explain what sprains and strains are, whereby they generally occur, what their signs and symptoms are, just how they room treated, and also how they can be prevented. At the finish is a perform of crucial words to assist you recognize the terms provided in the reality sheet. If you have further questions, you may wish to discuss them through your doctor.

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A sprain is one injury come a ligament--a stretchingor a tearing. One or an ext ligaments have the right to be injured throughout a sprain. The severityof the injury will count on the level of injury to a single ligament (whetherthe tear is partial or complete) and the number of ligaments involved.

A strain is one injury to either a muscle or atendon. Depending upon the severity that the injury, a strain might be a simpleoverstretch of the muscle or tendon, or that can result in a partial or completetear.


A sprain can an outcome from a fall, a sudden twist, or a punch tothe human body that forces a joint out of its common position. This outcomes in an overstretch or tear the the ligament sustaining that joint. Typically, sprains happen when civilization fall and also land on one outstretched arm, slide right into base, soil on the next of their foot, or twisted a knee with the foot planted firmly on theground.


Although sprains can occur in both the upper and lower parts ofthe body, the most typical site is the ankle. Fish eye sprains room the many commoninjury in the united States and often occur throughout sports or recreationalactivities. Approximately 1 million fish eye injuries happen each year, and 85percent that them room sprains.

The talus bone and also the end of two of the lower leg skeleton (tibia and fibula) type the ankle joint (see fig. 1).This share is sustained by several lateral (outside) ligaments and also medial(inside) ligaments. Many ankle sprains happen when the foot transforms inward together aperson runs, turns, falls, or soil on the ankle after a jump. This kind ofsprain is called an turning back injury. One or much more of the lateral ligaments areinjured, typically the anterior talofibular ligament. The calcaneofibular ligamentis the 2nd most frequently torn ligament.

The knee is one more common website for a sprain. A punch to the kneeor a loss is regularly the cause; sudden twisting have the right to also result in a sprain (seefig. 2).

Sprains frequently occur in ~ the wrist, commonly when peoplefall and land on an outstretched hand. numbers 1 and also 2


The usual signs and also symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising,and loss of the capability to move and also use the joint (called useful ability).However, this signs and symptoms have the right to vary in intensity, relying on theseverity of the sprain. Sometimes civilization feel a pop or tear as soon as the injuryhappens.

Doctors use many criteria come diagnose the severity that a sprain. In general, a grade ns or gentle sprain reasons overstretching or slim tearing of the ligaments v no share instability. A human with a mild sprain usually experiences minimal pain, swelling, and small or no lose of useful ability. Bruising is missing or slight, and the human being is usually able to put weight ~ above the affected joint. Human being with mild sprains usually perform not require an x-ray, yet one is periodically performed if the diagnosis is unclear.


You have severe pain and also cannot put any type of weight ~ above the hurt joint. The area over the hurt joint or beside it is very tender once you touch it. The injured area looks crooked or has lumps and also bumps (other 보다 swelling) the you perform not watch on the uninjured joint. Girlfriend cannot move the injured joint. You cannot walk more than 4 steps without far-ranging pain. Your limb buckles or gives method when you try to use the joint. You have actually numbness in any component of the hurt area. You view redness or red streaks spreading out indigenous the injury. You damaged an area that has actually been injured several times before. You have pain, swelling, or redness over a bony component of your foot. You are in doubt about the seriousness the the injury or just how to treatment for it.

A great II or center sprain reasons partial tearing that theligament and is defined by bruising, center pain, and swelling. A personwith a center sprain usually has actually some challenge putting load on theaffected joint and also experiences part loss of function. One x ray may be needed tohelp the doctor determine if a fracture is leading to the pain and swelling.Magnetic resonance imaging is occasionally used to aid differentiate in between asignificant partial injury and also a finish tear in a ligament.

People that sustain a great III or serious sprain fully tearor rupture a ligament. Pain, swelling, and bruising are usually severe, and also thepatient is can not to placed weight top top the joint. One x ray is usually taken to ruleout a damaged bone.

When diagnosing any type of sprain, the physician will ask the patient toexplain how the injury happened. The medical professional will research the influenced joint andcheck that stability and also its capability to move and bear weight.

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A stress, overload is caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon.Strains can be acute or chronic. An acute strain is brought about by trauma or aninjury such as a blow to the body; the can also be caused by improperly liftingheavy objects or over-stressing the muscles. Chronic strains room usually theresult of overuse--prolonged, repetitive motion of the muscles and tendons.


Two typical sites because that a strain are the ago and the hamstring muscle (located in the ago of the thigh). Contact sports such together soccer,football, hockey, boxing, and wrestling put human being at hazard for strains.Gymnastics, tennis, rowing, golf, and other sports that need extensivegripping can increase the hazard of hand and also forearm strains. Elbow strainssometimes take place in human being who get involved in racquet sports, throwing, andcontact sports.


Typically, civilization with a strain suffer pain, muscle spasm,and muscle weakness. They can additionally have localized swelling, cramping, orinflammation and, with a boy or moderate strain, typically some ns of musclefunction. Patients generally have ache in the injured area and also general weaknessof the muscle as soon as they effort to move it. Severe strains that partially orcompletely tear the muscle or tendon space often very painful and disabling.


Reduce Swelling and also PainTreatment because that sprains and also strains is similar and can be believed of as having two stages. The goal throughout the first stage is to reduce swelling and pain. At this stage, medical professionals usually recommend patients to monitor a formula of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) for the very first 24 come 48 hours after the injury. The doctor may likewise recommend one over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such together aspirin or ibuprofen, come helpdecrease pain and inflammation.

For civilization with a middle or major sprain, particularly of the ankle, a hard actors may it is in applied. Severe sprains and strains might require surgery to repair the take it ligaments, muscle, or tendons. Surgical treatment is commonly performed by an orthopaedic surgeon.

It is vital that moderate and also severe sprains and also strains beevaluated by a medical professional to allow prompt, appropriate treatment to begin. Theinformation above lists some indications that should alert civilization to consult theirdoctor. However, a person who has any type of concerns about the seriousness that a sprainor strain should always contact a physician for advice.

Begin RehabilitationThe second stage of dealing with a sprain or strain is rehabilitation, whose all at once goal is to boost the condition of the injured component and gain back its function. The health care provider will prescribe an exercise routine designed to protect against stiffness, improve range of motion, and restore the joint"s normal flexibility and strength. Part patients may need physical therapy during this stage.

When the acute pain and also swelling have actually diminished, the health care provider or physical therapist will instruct the patience to execute a collection of exercises number of times a day. This are an extremely important because they assist reduce swelling, protect against stiffness, and restore normal, pain-free range of motion. The health treatment provider have the right to recommend plenty of different varieties of exercises, depending upon the injury. For example, human being with one ankle sprain may be called to rest their hoe on the floor and also write the alphabet in the air with their big toe. A patient through an hurt knee or foot will work-related on weight-bearing and also balancing exercises. The expression of the program depends ~ above the degree of the injury, however the regimen commonly lasts for number of weeks.

Another score of rehabilitation is to rise strength and also regain flexibility. Depending upon the patient"s rate of recovery, this process begins about the 2nd week after ~ the injury. The health care provider orphysical therapist will instruct the patience to perform a collection of exercisesdesigned to satisfy these goals. During this step of rehabilitation, patientsprogress to more demanding exercises together pain reduce and function improves.

The final goal is the go back to full everyday activities, consisting of sports once appropriate. Patients should work closely with their health care provider or physical therapist to identify their readiness to return to full activity. Sometimes world are tempted come resume full task or play sports regardless of pain or muscle soreness. Returning to full task before regaining normal range of motion, flexibility, and also strength increases the opportunity of re-injury and also may result in a chronic problem.

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The lot of rehabilitation and also the time required for fullrecovery after ~ a sprain or strain rely on the severity that the injury andindividual prices of healing. Because that example, a center ankle sprain may require 3to 6 weeks of rehabilitation prior to a person have the right to return to full activity. Through asevere sprain, it have the right to take 8 come 12 months before the ligament is totally healed.Extra treatment should be taken to stop re-injury.