Sprain Treatment in Shrewsbury & Edison, NJ
What is a Sprain?
A sprain refers to an injury of a particular joint, such as a knee sprain or an elbow sprain. These sprains occur when a ligament (the tissues that connect different bones within the body) is overstretched. Sprains can range between being very mild to severe.
Mild sprains require little more than adequate rest and routine icing, but more serious sprains can leave the joint unstable and prone to an even worse injury. In extreme cases, the ligaments of the joint may even tear completely away from the bone.
Symptoms of a Sprain
All sprain cases will result in similar symptoms, including:
- Pain near the joint
The Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain
A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon that can be caused by a recent injury or a prolonged over-stressing of the muscle. Strains usually occur in the back or hamstring muscles.
A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, which is the tissue that connects bone at a joint. Sprains are very common in wrists and ankles, but can also occur in feet, elbows, hands, and any ligament at a joint.
Treatment for strains and sprains are similar and will start with a suggested RICE therapy- rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To decrease pain and inflammation, your doctor will usually recommend this during the first 24-48 hours following an injury. From there you will need to improve the condition of the injury and restore function by working to regain strength and flexibility.
To prevent future problems after an injury, or to prevent an injury from happening in the first place, there are a few measures you can take.
- If your joints or muscles already ache, it may be a good idea to wear a brace or wrap when exercising or playing sports, or avoid activities altogether.
- Warm up your joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, and stretch several times a week and before doing an activity.
- Be sure to use the appropriate shoes and protective equipment that is necessary.
- To keep your bones strong, consume enough calcium and vitamin D, through products like dairy and leafy vegetables.
When to Seek Treatment
In general, if you notice constant pain, even if it is dull, lasting longer than 1-2 days, you should seek medical attention. A sprain may not immediately cause a lot of pain, but they can all too easily lead to future health complications or increased likelihood of a more severe injury.
Schedule an Appointment
To speak with a Pediatric Orthopedic Specialist about a potential sprain, please contact our office today by calling (732) 544-9000 to request an appointment.