Is It a Sprain or a Strain?

Feb 08, 2019

If you have an accident, it may be difficult to know the difference between a sprain and a strain. You may want to wait to see medical attention, but there are times when medical attention is necessary. Express ER is one of the best options for an emergency room near you if you would like an assessment of your injury by a medical professional.

Sprain vs. Strain

These two terms are often confused for one another, but they are different. A sprain is when the ligament connecting bones is injured while a strain involves injury to a muscle or tendon. They are both very quick and tend to be painful.

How They Occur

Sprains happen when the tissues between bones are stretched too far or torn while performing any activity, often when playing sports. Both sprains and strains happen when too much force is applied too quickly to a muscle, tendon, or joint. This can happen during baseball games when quick motions, like sliding onto base, put the legs in an awkward angle. Jumping or making quick turns can also cause sprains or strains.

How to Care for Sprains & Strains

In both cases you will want to rest and elevate the affected area. Sprain treatment near you can bring fast relief from pain caused by sprains and strains. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation of the joints, muscles, and tendons. Your injured body part may get better after a few days of rest so that the affected tissues can heal, but to be safe you should have the area assessed by scheduling a body sprain treatment near you.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you experience severe pain or notice the area is very swollen or tender to the touch, you may have a fracture. Keep an eye on your level of pain when moving the affected area, as significant pain may require an x-ray to see what damage there is. A trained medical professional at an urgent care near you can determine what treatment you require.