Sprains and strains have similar signs and symptoms but each is identified based on the part of the body that is impacted. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of a ligament (tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint). The most common location for a sprain is the ankle. A strain on the other hand is the tearing or stretching of a muscle or tendon (fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone). Common locations for strains are the lower back and the hamstring muscle on the back of your thigh.
SEVERITY OF SPRAIN OR STRAIN
Some sprains and strains can be mild and can be treated at home with ice, compression, and elevation. More severe sprains and strains need to be properly evaluated and should be treated by a professional. A severe sprain or strain can result in chronic pain, which is any pain that persists for six months or more.
ANKLES, KNEES, AND WRISTS ARE THE MOST COMMON SPRAINS
Ankle sprains are most common among average individuals, but knee ligament damage, including the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), is very common among athletes. Physical therapy will help broaden the range that you are able to move those joints. This is identified as your range of motion. Your physical therapist will also use a few techniques to reduce swelling and, depending on your injury, work to maintain muscle strength.
TEARING OF MUSCLES AND TENDONS CAN BE PAINFUL
The most common muscle injuries occur in the back of your thigh (hamstring strain), front of your thigh (quadriceps strain), calf (calf muscle tear), back (back muscle pain), and groin strain. Of course, any muscle in your body is susceptible to a muscle strain or tear. Muscle strain therapy will depend on the diagnoses from your physical therapist.
HELP FOR CHRONIC PAIN FROM SPRAINS AND STRAINS
Again, chronic pain is usually defined by any type of musculoskeletal pain or symptom that has been present for longer than six months (time frame definition varies based on source). With a proper strategy, chronic pain can often be treated if it comes from musculoskeletal sprains/strains. Our job at Renew Physical Therapy is to detect any biomechanical and lifestyle contributing factors to persistent pain conditions with a thorough subjective interview and physical examination. We continually reassess each patient during his/her episode of care to ensure that the individualized treatment program is appropriately progressing toward a less painful and better quality of life.
Visit our About Us page to learn more about our practice, clinic, and staff. You can also read more about our Chronic Pain Treatment and Physical Therapy for Car Accidents. Call us at 503.928.4914 to schedule an appointment.