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Sprains and Strains
Yard work. Long walks. Home repairs. The warmer weather has many of us increasing our activity level, and that can lead to some of the most common injuries – sprains and strains. It’s that “Oh no, what did I just do” moment when injuries occur but we’re not sure what is wrong. Is it a sprain, strain or something worse?
A sprain is an overstretching of a ligament, which is a strong band of connective tissue that connects a bone to another bone. Common areas of ligament sprains include the knee and ankle. Swelling, pain, joint instability and tenderness over the injured ligament are all symptoms of a sprain.
In comparison, a strain is an overstretched or damaged tendon (tissue that connects a muscle to a bone). Commonly strained areas are the Achilles tendon and lower back. Symptoms of strains are similar to sprains but are differentiated by which part of the body is injured.
Strains and sprains are classified by degree of severity – a range of 1st degree (mild) to 3rd degree (severe). “Mild symptoms generally resolve on their own in 48 to 72 hours,” says Devin Christman, PT, DPT, of Good Shepherd Physical Therapy-North Bethlehem/ CORE PT. “More severe symptoms require medical attention. When strains and sprains are severe, an X-ray or MRI may be performed to rule out a fracture and to determine the extent of the injury.”
Physical rehabilitation may help a patient with a sprain or strain return to work, sports or daily activities sooner than later.
To learn more, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or email us today!