At Central Alabama Urgent Care , we’re open every day with X-rays on site and a full medical team, so strains and sprains won’t keep you down for long.
Strains and sprains are fairly common injuries with similar symptoms, although they involve different parts of the body. Both strains and sprains can range from mild to severe depending on the number of muscles and ligaments involved and how badly they’re damaged. A sprain occurs when you stretch or tear a ligament − or the short band of flexible tissue that connects bones, cartilage or holds together a joint. A sprain can happen at any part of the body where ligaments are found such as ankles, wrists, feet and knees. Strains occur when muscles and/or tendons are stretched or torn. Large muscle strains such as hamstrings and hip flexors are particularly common.
Strains and sprains typically occur at joints such as wrists, ankles and knees because these areas are subject to rapid shifting movements, such as when you suddenly change direction. Ankle sprains, for example, can occur when the foot turns inward or outward and stretches the ligaments on the opposite side of the foot.
Mild: Excessive stretching or a slight tear of the ligament. Small amount of swelling and tenderness, but it’s possible to put weight on the joint.
Moderate: The ligament fibers tear, but are not completely ruptured. Joint is tender, painful and difficult to move. It is swollen, possibly discolored from bleeding and unsteady when weight is put on the joint.
Severe: One or more ligaments tear completely. The joint won’t move normally or hold weight. The joint is very swollen and possibly discolored. It may be difficult to distinguish from a fracture or dislocation.
Properly treating a strained or sprained ankle, wrist or knee can help prevent ongoing problems, particularly for those with repeat or severe sprains which can develop into long-term joint pain and weakness. Visit Central Alabama Urgent care if there is a popping sound at the time of injury, considerable swelling or if the injured joint can’t bear weight. #CAUC can evaluate the injury and take any necessary X-rays to determine severity and the best possible treatment option.
RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is also particularly helpful following an injury to reduce swelling and pain. The time it takes to return to normal activity depends on the joint, location and severity of the injury. Consult your provider about when to return to activity.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. It is information that is generally available. Each person has unique medical needs based on several factors including age, genetics, body type and build, medications,exposures to illness and medical history, to name a few. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition that you are experiencing. If you are suffering from a non-emergent medical situation, it is suggested that you visit the Central Alabama Urgent Care or your family physician. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.