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Published: April 20, 2023

Strains, Sprains, and Fractures: Treatments and Symptoms

If you're a runner, jogger, biker, or just generally physically active you've probably had an injury such as a twisted or sprained ankle at some point. Orthopedic injuries, such as strains, sprains, and fractures, can have a variety of different causes, including sports injuries, falls, and accidents. Although these injuries can be painful and often debilitating, they can typically be treated with proper care and rehabilitation by experienced medical professionals such as the team at Total Spine.

What is a strain?

A strain is a stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. These injuries are typically caused by overuse or overstretching of the affected area. Symptoms of a strain may include pain, swelling, and weakness in the affected muscle or tendon. In more severe cases, a strain may cause bruising or a limited range of motion.

Treatment for strains typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This involves resting the affected area, applying ice to reduce swelling, compressing the area with an elastic bandage, and elevating the affected limb above the level of the heart. In some cases, pain medication or physical therapy may also be recommended to aid in recovery.

What are sprains?

A sprain is a stretching or tearing of a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bones to other bones in a joint. Sprains can be caused by twisting or wrenching of the affected joint, often due to sudden movements or falls. Symptoms of a sprain may include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected joint.

Treatment for sprains is similar to that for strains and typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In addition, immobilization of the affected joint with a splint or brace may be necessary to promote healing. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help restore the range of motion and strength of the affected joint.

What is a Fracture?

A fracture is a break in a bone. Fractures can range from small hairline cracks to severe breaks that completely separate the bone into two or more pieces. Fractures are often caused by trauma or repetitive stress to the affected bone. Symptoms of a fracture may include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected limb.

Treatment for fractures depends on the severity of the injury. For minor fractures, immobilization with a cast or brace may be sufficient to promote healing. More severe fractures may require surgery to realign the affected bone and stabilize it with pins, plates, or screws. In some cases, physical therapy may also be recommended to aid in recovery and restore strength and mobility to the affected areas.

How can I prevent these kinds of injuries?

While not all kinds of injuries can be prevented, following these steps can reduce the overall risk of injury:

  • Warming up properly before physical activity to prepare the muscles and joints for exercise.
  • Using proper technique when performing activities that involve repetitive motions or heavy lifting.
  • Wearing appropriate protective gear, such as helmets, pads, or supportive shoes.
  • Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity to avoid overuse injuries.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight reduces the risk of stress fractures and other bone-related injuries.

What should I do if I have a sprain, strain, or fracture?

If you have an injury that is severe or does not appear to be healing with home treatment, a diagnosis by a medical professional may be needed. Our team at Total Spine specializes in treating all kinds of sprains, strains, and fractures using non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Hamzavi, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Vliegenthart are key members of our orthopedic team who can help you find an effective treatment plan to get you back to doing what you do best - living life! If you'd like more information or would like to schedule an appointment, our patient advocate team is standing by! (321) 499-4646

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