Sprains and Strains
What is a Sprain?
A sprain is an injury to a ligament. A ligament is a thick, tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones together. The most commonly injured ligaments are in the ankle, knee, and wrist. The ligaments can be injured by being stretched too far from their normal position.
What are the symptoms of Strain or Sprain?
The most common symptoms of a sprain are: pain, swelling, and bruising of the affected joint. Symptoms will vary with the intensity of the sprain or strain.
What do ligaments do?
Ligaments hold your skeleton together in a normal alignment. They prevent abnormal movements. However, when too much force is applied to a ligament, such as in a fall, the ligaments can be stretched or torn; this injury is called a sprain.
What is a Strain?
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Muscles move your skeleton. When a muscle contracts it pulls on a tendon, which is in turn connected to your bone. Muscles are made to stretch. However, if muscles are stretched too far, or stretched while contracting, a strain my occur. A strain can either be a stretching or tear of the muscle or tendon.
What causes a Sprain?
A sprain is caused by a ligament being stretched too far. One of the most common sprains is the 'twisted ankle.' The twisted ankle occurs often, usually during running, hiking, and basketball.
What causes a Strain?
Strains are injuries to muscles or the tendons that attach the muscles to your bones. By pulling too far on a muscle, or by pulling a muscle in one direction while it is contracting in the other direction can cause injuries within the muscle or tendon. Strains can also be caused by chronic activities that develop an overstretching of the muscle fibers.
Can Strains and Sprains be prevented?
Unfortunately, not all sprains and strain can be prevented. Some helpful hints on how to avoid strains and sprains are listed below.
When to see a Doctor
The list below is a good indicator of when you need to seek medical help for your injury.
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