Sprain or Strain?

You can suffer from a sprain or strain from a variety of causes.  They are usually minor injuries though if the injury is severe weeks of rehabilitation may be needed to fully recover.  Sometimes people will suffer sprains or strains after a car accident. Work and sport related injuries are also common.

A sprain refers to an injury to the ligament.  Ligaments are the connective tissue in joints that link bones together.  Common places for sprains are wrists, ankles, elbows and knees.  If you have strained a muscle you have torn the muscle tissue.  Usually strains will occur in the muscles of the calf, thigh, shoulder or groin.

How to Tell the Difference?

Sprain – You will feel pain when the injury occurs.  There will usually be swelling and often bruising.

Strain – The symptoms for a strain are often muscle stiffness, soreness or tenderness.  The area may also swell.

Sprains are generally caused when the joint is twisted while bearing weight.  This causes the ligament to stretch further than it should.  Often these are sudden injuries like a car collision or a fall.

You will strain your muscle if the weight put on a muscle is more than the weakest part of the muscle can handle.  Often these occur in activities that both stretch the muscle and put weight on the muscle at the same time.

You may be more at risk for a strain or sprain if you have limited flexibility.  Exercising without a proper warm up can contribute to a sprain or strain.  Warm up before you exercise, and know when to stop exercising.  If you exercise when your body is fatigued you are more likely to be injured.  Using sports equipment that doesn’t fit right or participating in sports that your body isn’t conditioned for can also raise your risk.

I Have a Sprain or Strain, Now What?

If the injury is minor start with treatment at home.  While the initial damage is done when you injure the area, secondary damage can result from inflammation.  Take some steps to reduce swelling and pain.  Begin by resting the injured area.  Apply ice to the area, always wrapping the ice in a cloth first; you shouldn’t put ice directly against your skin.  Ice the area for no more than 15 minutes at a time, on and off for the first few days after your injury.  Apply compression to the area, and keep the area elevated.

Chiropractic Care

Our office can help the healing process if you are suffering from a sprain or strain.  Dr. Elsey can manipulate the area, which can reduce swelling and can be as effective as anti-inflammatory medication at improving flexibility and reducing pain without any negative side effects.  Dr. Elsey can address your specific injury by a combination of treatments, including ice, heat, or electrical stimulation.  We can also recommend stretches or exercises to help with recovery.

You can utilize Chiropractic care to reduce the risk of future injuries.  Dr. Elsey can help you assess your goals and provide the stretches and exercises to keep your body healthy as well as the maintenance your body needs to run efficiently.  Chiropractic care can be helpful for students in high school or college sports can help to strengthen joints and dramatically reduce the risk of ankle sprains.

Call our office if you or someone you know is suffering from a sprain or strain.