Strains and sprains are common musculoskeletal injuries. Although similar, they do differ. Sprains are injuries to the ligaments, the tissues that connect the bones together, whereas strains are injuries to the muscles or tendons, the tissues that connect the muscles to the bones.
While all are an injury to the musculoskeletal system, strains, sprains and fractures are quite different. Fractures are injuries to the bone and can be minor (hairline crack) or severe (compound fracture). Strains are injuries to the muscles or connective tissues that attach the muscles to the bones, such as tendons. Sprains are injuries to the connective tissues that join the bones, such as ligaments.
Sprains and fractures, although quite different in nature, have similar treatment plans. If you’ve hurt one of your limbs, it is best to be on the safe side. The acronym RICE is a handy tool to help you remember what to do:
Rest — Rest the affected area. Until it can be fully evaluated, stay off the injured area. Walking, running, or playing sports on an injured limb may exacerbate the injury.
Ice — As soon as possible, apply ice to the affected area, reapplying it every three or four hours for 15–20 minutes (make sure to listen to your body, if it becomes too cold, take it off) following the first 48 hours after injury. Ice can decrease inflammation.
Compression — Wrap an elastic bandage around the affected area. The wrapping should be snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation, so watch for signs of restricted blood flow.
Elevation — Elevate the affected extremity with the use of a few pillows. Ideally, the injured area should be higher than your heart. Keeping your injured area elevated also decreases swelling.
The recovery period varies from patient to patient and also depends on the severity of the injury. Minor sprains or strains may heal in only a few days, while more serious injuries can take several months to fully heal. On average, a musculoskeletal injury such as a strain or sprain heals with full mobility and function within three to eight weeks.
The best place to receive treatment for a fracture, sprain or strain is to come to Houston Medical ER. Our facility is designed to have patients in and out in as quickly a time as possible, so you can seek treatment without having to wait.
If you or someone you know has sustained a sprain or strain, come to Houston Medical ER for treatment! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating strains and sprains and can help you get on the road to recovery quicker than ever before! For more information on our sprains and strains treatment on how they can benefit you, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our strains and sprains specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today. We serve patients from Houston TX, Spring TX, North Houston TX, The Woodlands TX, Humble TX, Heights TX, Downtown Houston TX, Northwest Houston TX, Northeast Houston TX, Conroe TX, Willis TX, Tomball TX, Cypress TX, and Memorial City.