Elastic bands, called ligaments, connect bones together and hold joints in place. Ankles and knees are the most commonly sprained body parts due to trauma.
SYMPTOMS OF A SPRAIN
Symptoms of a sprain are more severe depending on how much the ligament has been torn. They include:
- Throbbing pain
- Inability to move afflicted area
Sprains are generally easy to treat and usually require about 6 months to fully heal. A patient should:
- Rest for the first 48 hours after injury. Elevating the injured area above the heart when possible will reduce swelling.
- Ice the area for 20-minute intervals about eight times a day for the first two days after injury.
- Compress the afflicted area with a wrap or ace bandage.
- Start physical therapy after the first 48 hours to strengthen the sprained area and reduce recovery time.
Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. A strain is a tear in the tendon or actual muscle. It can develop over time with constant pulling or twisting of the muscle or can happen as a sudden injury.
SYMPTOMS OF A STRAIN
Symptoms of a strain depend of the severity of the case, such as:
- Pain in the area
- Muscle spasms
- Trouble moving
- Conservative treatments are used for mild strains. However, severe tears in tendons may require surgery.
- Pain medications like ibuprofen may be prescribed.
- Physical therapy will aid in recovery time through icing and exercise.