Sprains and Strains
Sprains and Strains Facts
- Sprains and strains are common orthopedic injuries. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, and a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon.
- A sprain is usually caused by trauma to a joint. A strain is usually the result of overstretching or overuse of muscles and tendons.
- People at higher risk for sprains and strains include athletes, people who have had sprains and strains before, and those who are overweight.
- Signs and symptoms of sprains and strains include pain, swelling, bruising, and decreased range of motion.
- The main treatment (first aid) for all sprains and strains is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Home remedies may include over-the-counter pain relievers. Physical therapy or massage may also be prescribed.
- Most sprains and strains heal completely with adequate treatment, though you will be at higher risk of re-injuring the same area again.
- Prevent sprains and strains by stretching and conditioning, wearing the proper shoes for sports, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2015
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