Sometimes you’ll hear someone refer to the fact that they sprained an ankle; other times someone will instead say that they strained it. What’s the difference between strains and sprains? Strains and sprains aren’t entirely the same thing – and while they might have a few things in common between them, you should make sure you know which of the two you are really referring to when you say it.
Here’s what you should know about the difference between strains and sprains – and why it matters to how they heal.
Strain injuries are also sometimes referred to as repetitive strain injuries. These happen gradually over a long period of time, and some examples of repetitive strain injuries includes plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel. These types of injuries are sometimes associated with repetitive motion that triggers them (for example, tennis or typing) and chronic conditions like arthritis that can worsen them.
Strain injuries can fast become sprain injuries where they are put under too much stress. But strain injuries are often long-lasting in their symptoms – and have to be managed instead of just treated. For strain injuries, anti-inflammatory medication is recommended and prescribed and other methods such as bracing and tape can help to reduce the strain. Additionally, applying heat or cold can sometimes help for flare-ups.
Instead of happening through gradual means like strain injuries, sprains will usually happen suddenly. These can often happen during exercise when the body is pushed further than it should be, but it can also happen during regular activities like walking across the road or losing your footing.
Sprain injuries tend to be associated with immediate pain and swelling, and these can take a few weeks (up to eight) to heal properly. Sprains can easily turn into tears or hairline fractures when they are subjected to even more stress and where chronic conditions like arthritis are also present, added stress on a sprain injury can cause a break.
The best advice for a potential sprain injury is the application of heat or cold and immediate immobilization of the affected body part. From there, medical attention is advised. A simple scan is all it takes to establish how bad the damage really is under the surface, and what has to be done in order to treat it. Your doctor should be able to make the best recommendations for what treatments should be followed, what can be done for pain relief and how long the body part affected has to be kept out of action for.
At Papillion Chiropractic our approach is simple. We believe that health is among our most valuable possessions. And while we generally meet people after they’ve lost their health, our commitment is to offer you hope and more importantly, a plan. Drs. Kurt and Tonya Boeckenhauer can begin the process of restoring your spinal health and body mechanics. Contact us!