Many of us attribute sprains and strains to athletes who get hurt during a game, or amateur athletes who don’t warm up properly. And while you could pull your hamstring playing soccer, it’s just as easy to injure yourself during everyday activities. You may sprain your ankle stepping off a curb, or strain your back lifting something heavy.
If pain and swelling has you reaching for an ice pack and ibuprofen – especially if your injury makes it hard to move – it may be time to see your doctor. While some sprains and strains can be treated at home, others need care by a medical professional. Your doctor can also rule out more serious injuries such as a ruptured tendon or fractured bone.
A sprain is the medical term for a stretched or torn ligament. Your ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect your bones to other bones. They help stabilize and support your joints.
Sprains are often graded based on their severity:
Strains refer to an injured muscle or tendon. Your tendons are cords of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones.
Like sprains, strains range in severity. A minor strain may cause slight stretching and tears in your muscle, with mild pain and swelling. A severe strain can cause a full tear across both a tendon and muscle. You may have pain, muscle spasms and weakness, or problems moving a joint.
If you’re sidelined with a sprain or strain, you can rely on Mercy for pain relief and healing. Your treatment plan will depend on several factors, including the type and severity of your injury. It may include:
We'll give you all the expert care and education you need to get back on your feet and back to doing all the things you love.