it is difficult to diagnose for most of us after an injury whether it is a sprain or a strain
Sprains and strains both are mainly caused when the joint is put under physical stress with an activity that the body is
A sprained ligament is more susceptible to get sprained again in future if it is not strengthened
We have heard both these terms; Sprain and Strain quite often and may have used it interchangeably. But it is difficult to diagnose for most of us after an injury whether it is a sprain or a strain. This article shall help you not just differentiating between the two but also how to do the first line of treatment and prevent the same.
A sprain at a joint is an injury to a ligament which is a tissue that connects two or more bones. The sprain causes pain, swelling, bruising and restrictions of using the joint.
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon which are the fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to the bone. Strain symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling, cramping, and trouble in moving the joint.
Sprains and strains both are mainly caused when the joint is put under physical stress with an activity that the body is not accustomed to. It can be repetitive actions of motion or by a single overuse injury.
When one is injured, the healthcare professional first performs the physical examination of the part of the body that is injured. The swelling and the tenderness can help determine the extent of the injury. It is important to rule out any broken bones or fractures. Your doctor may suggest X-rays for the same. The pulses and sensation may also be checked to certain that there is no associated nerve or artery damage. CT scan or MRI can help detect damage to the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and other structures.
Sprains and Strains are graded according to the severity of the damage:
In case of a mild sprain or a strain, the first line of treatment can start from the point of the injury itself. This can help prevent the increase in inflammation. The technique is called R.I.C.E; that is Rest, Ice, Compression and Ice.
Your doctor may suggest that you immobilize the area with a brace or splint in severe cases. A physiotherapist can help reduce pain, increase the stability and strength of the injured joint or limb. A sprained ligament is more susceptible to get sprained again in future if it is not strengthened. A physiotherapist helps gain that strength with exercises. More severe sprains or strains can require further interventions and even surgery.
Injuries happen accidentally and there is not much we can do about it. But there are few tips which can prevent the occurrence of sprains or strains.
But self diagnosis can be tricky, which is why you should always consult a medical specialist before making any conclusions. Find one from the comfort of your home on Bajaj Finserv Health. View doctors’ years of experience, consulting hours, fees and more before booking an e-consult or in-person appointment. Apart from facilitating appointment booking, Bajaj Finserv Health also offers health plans for your family, medicine reminders, healthcare information and discounts from select hospitals and clinics.