Do You Suffer From A Sprain or Strain?
This page was updated on 04/06/2017
At iMed Chiropractic in Fairfield, we see a lot of patients who are confused on the difference between a strain versus a sprain and what the proper treatment of these conditions are. So, to help typical treatment protocols and explanations are mentioned below.
Strain - an injury that affects a muscle or tendon. Muscles in the body attach to a bone through a common tendon. An acute strain (one that occurs with one set of movements) usually occurs when a muscle or tendon is either overstretched, or if there is an excessive stress to that muscle or tendon. Common symptoms of a strain include: pain, weakness, and muscle spasms at the area of the injury. Chronic strains (those that occur over time and can be repetitive) are the result of overusing the muscles and tendons without giving them adequate rest.
Sprain - an injury that affects a ligament, which is a thick band of tissue that attaches one bone to another bone. For example, ligaments in the ankle attach the lower leg to the foot enabling a person to walk on uneven surfaces, run, jump, and play sports. A sprain usually occurs when there is either a direct, or indirect, force that knocks a joint out of position, causing the ligaments to stretch, partially tear, or completely rupture. Common symptoms of a sprain include: painful movement, instability, swelling, and bruising around the area of the injury.
You should contact iMed Chiropractic in Fairfield immediately when you suspect that you may have suffered a strain or sprain. It is critical to have the area examined and rule out the severe possibility of fracture or complete tear, which in most cases require surgery or splinting. Once the severity of the injury is diagnosed the team at iMed Chiropractic can get you on the fastest path to recovery and future injury prevention, as such injuries get worse and will reoccur over time without the proper treatment.
Treatment for Sprains and Strains in Fairfield
Treatment of strains and sprains is divided into two phases. Phase One is the conservative phase and Phase Two is the rehabilitation phase.
Phase One (Conservative Treatment)
The goal in phase one of treatment is to control pain and inflammation (swelling). At this stage, the team at iMed Chiropractic often would recommend the R.I.C.E. protocol, which is an acronym for: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. A prescription for an anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed by the medical doctor to help with the pain and swelling. This protocol is to be used for the first 24-48 hours.
Phase Two (Rehabilitation)
The second phase of treating a strain or sprain is rehabilitation. During this stage, the iMed Chiropractic treatment team begins physical therapy to get the injury back to normal function. The main goal of rehabilitation is to restore normal, pain-free range of motion, increase strength, and restore normal joint function. The chiropractic physician will perform hands-on techniques to restore joint mobility, the massage therapist with massage the muscle and tendons, and the rehabilitation specialist will design an exercise program to increase strength around the joint, and use modalities (electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and heat/ice) to control the pain and swelling during this stage. The duration of physical therapy will depend on the severity of the injury, the patient's compliance with home care, and the activity level that the person needs to return to. For example, an athlete returning to play may likely require more training to get back to their previous level of function than someone returning to a desk job.
No matter your level of activity, iMed Chiropractic in Fairfield can often return you back to doing what you want in the shortest time possible. If you are in the Fairfield area and suffering from a strain or sprain, contact our iMed Chiropractic office today to schedule your individualized consolation.