The most common of all injuries are sprains and strains. These are not confined to those who are engaged in sports. In fact more people get sprains and strains who are sedentary and then do something, anything; bending over, walking on uneven ground, stumbling, repetitively making the same motion, just to name a few. It also is not age dependent, it can happen to anyone. Actually the older we get the more prone we are to having sprains and strains.
The tough bands that hold most joints together are called ligaments. When these ligaments are used in a way that is not normal or what they are intended for, you get what is called a sprain. Basically it tears, twists or distorts them, which causes you great pain. You will find that it happens very quickly and is localized around a joint. They are caused by one or more of the fallowing, unusual pressure on the joint, falling, or twisting.
Strains on the other hand happen to muscles or tendons. When you use them past their capacity or pull them too far, you strain them. This strain manifests as a pull or tear in the muscle fibers or tendons. They can occur suddenly but also manifest over time. They are often caused by lifting a heavy object, incorrectly lifting something, slipping, running, falling, jumping, or throwing. It can also happen when you are in an awkward position too long or doing repetitive movements.
“Think of ligaments and muscle-tendon units like springs,” says William Roberts, MD, sports medicine physician at the University of Minnesota and spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine. “The tissue lengthens with stress and returns to its normal length — unless it is pulled too far out of its normal range.”
A “popping” sensation
Pain or tenderness
Limited movement in the area
Spasms or cramping
How to protect yourself from sprains and strains
Make sure that you are using proper techniques in any activity you are doing. For example, bend your knees to lift any objects.
Make sure that you are using the appropriate equipment for the job. Use a proper ladder or step stool to reach high items.
Keep in shape! You will stay healthier if you continue to do exercise – any exercise. Include bending and stretching in your exercise routine.
Warm-up for any activity. Even if it is only to pick up something from the floor. Take a few incremental attempts before you do the deep dive. A little bit of exercise will do you good.
Difference between Sprain Strain Treatment – in fact, there is no difference
Start with rest. You cannot work through a sprain or strain – it needs to heal. Pushing through them will only worsen things and lengthen the healing period.
Ice and Heat. Alternate between an ice pack and hot compress for 20 minutes each. By doing this you increase the blood flow which brings quicker healing to the area. This will also reduce the swelling, which promotes healing.
Compress the injury as much as possible. You can use wraps, neoprene bracing, or in extreme cases casts. This reduces the movement and chance of worsening the injury at the same time as decreasing the movement of the area causing more pain.
Always elevate the injured area or put yourself in a prone position.
Don’t be the martyr, take a pain killer and anti-inflammatory. Why put yourself through pain if you don’t need to?
Go to a physiotherapist and let them aid you in recuperating better and faster. You can do it alone but why not ask the professional for the right help?
We cannot protect ourselves from every eventuality but we can prepare ourselves in the best way possible to reduce the injuries, pain, and length of time we are out of action. Be safe, have fun, and be active.