Sprain vs. Strain

Soccer w kidMaybe you slid into home a little too fast? Or overextended your back helping with a move over the weekend? If you’re experiencing pain, bruising, swelling, or inflammation, Physicians Immediate Care is here to help. According to Dr. Terry Buzzard, Chief Medical Officer at Physicians Immediate Care, “It is important for the injury to be evaluated by a medical professional as early as possible in order to develop an effective treatment plan.” Whether it’s a minor strain or a painful sprain, we can help cure your worry so you can get back to your life.

What is a sprain?

A sprain is a stretch and/or a tear of a ligament, which is the tough band of connective tissue that joins the end of one bone with another. Ligaments work to stabilize and support the body’s joints. Sprains are typically caused by a direct or indirect shock that knocks a joint out of position. A sprain h
as three categories: mild, moderate, and severe, and the symptoms below may appear in all cases. When a sprain occurs, you will usually feel a tear or pop in the joint.

Symptoms of a sprain include:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation

What is a strain?

A strain is an injury to a muscle and/or tendon. Tendons are the cords of tissue that attach muscles to the bone. Strains are typically caused by overuse of a muscle or tendon. A strain has three categories: mild, moderate, and severe, and you may experience any or all of these symptoms in all cases.Back Pain

Symptoms of a strain include:

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation

Should I visit a doctor?

If you are experiencing mild symptoms of a sprain or strain, you can typically treat them with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (also known as R.I.C.E. therapy). However, we recommend that you see a medical professional in order to most effectively treat your injury. “With appropriate and timely care, most sprains and strains will heal uneventfully without any long-term complications,” says Dr. Buzzard.

You can stop in and see one of our providers at Physicians Immediate Care, who can help evaluate the severity of your injury. Our doctors and PAs provide remarkable care for a wide variety of injuries and no appointment is needed. Click here to find a clinic near you or here to learn more about the range of services we provide.

 

Sources:

Mayo Clinic, “Sprains and Strains,” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprains-and-strains/basics/definition/con-20020958

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Sprains, Strains and Other Soft-Tissue Injuries,” http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00111