Chances are good that you’ve heard the term “sprain” before. But if you’re like many people, you may not know what this injury actually involves. A sprain occurs when a ligament overstretches or tears. Ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones together, providing stability within joints and keeping bones from moving too far. When the bones in a joint suddenly bend or twist, it can put too much stress on the connecting ligament and lead to a sprain.
Any joint can be sprained. However, certain joints are more susceptible to sprains than others. Two of the most commonly sprained joints are the wrist and the ankle. If you’ve ever tripped and fell, your first instinct was probably to put your arms in front of you to protect the rest of your body. Many people end up spraining their wrists when they do the same thing and then fall onto an outstretched hand. Ankle sprains often occur while walking on an uneven surface.
Many people report feeling or hearing a “pop” when they sprain a joint. Sprains can cause the following symptoms:
- Difficulty moving the sprained joint
Sprain treatment can vary depending on the extent of the injury and the joint affected, so it’s important to seek advice from a trained medical professional who can provide customized treatment recommendations. With that being said, many sprains can be treated using conservative methods. This may include:
- Taking pain medication
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
- Applying ice packs
- Bracing the joint
- Wearing a compression wrap
- Elevating the joint
- Resting the joint
- Attending physical therapy
The majority of sprains don’t require surgery. However, in certain cases—for example, when the sprained ligament is completely torn—surgery may become necessary.
Sprains vs. Strains
Many people aren’t aware of the difference between sprains and strains. As was noted above, a sprain involves a stretched or torn ligament. A strain, on the other hand, refers to a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Similar to how ligaments connect one bone to another, tendons connect a bone to a muscle.
Strains often occur as a result of repeatedly performing the same motion, and are even more likely to occur if the repetitive motion involves lifting something heavy. Sprains and strains share many of the same symptoms. However, someone with a strain may also experience weakness and muscle spasms.
Offering Treatment for Sprains in Carson City, NV & Nearby Communities
If you think that you or a loved one may have suffered a sprain, you can rely on Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic for treatment. We take pride in being a full-service orthopedic practice, and that includes offering prompt treatment for musculoskeletal injuries through our Tahoe Fracture Quick Care urgent care center.
Visit Tahoe Fracture Quick Care today for treatment—we never require an appointment for our urgent care services. And please feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to helping you restore your function, mobility, and quality of life.