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Sprains and strains are painful and inconvenient, limiting your mobility and often taking several weeks to fully heal. While there’s no ideal time to sustain an injury to your ligaments, muscles, or tendons, our orthopedic specialists can help you recover and get back to your regular routine as soon as possible.

What are Sprains and Strains?

Sprains and strains are common injuries that affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body. Although they share many similarities, sprains and strains involve different structures. Sprains happen when the ligaments, bands of tissue connecting bones within a joint, are stretched or torn. On the other hand, strains affect the muscles or tendons, which are responsible for muscle-to-bone and muscle-to-muscle connections.

Sprains and strains can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Acute injury: Sprains and strains often result from sudden movements, including falls, twists, or impacts that force a joint or muscle into an unnatural position.
  • Overuse: Repetitive activity of muscles and joints without proper rest or conditioning can lead to strains or sprains over time.
  • Improper technique: Incorrect form during physical activities, sports, or weight training can increase the risk of sprains and strains.
  • Inadequate warmup: Failing to adequately prepare for physical activity can make your muscles and ligaments more vulnerable to injury.
  • Weak muscles and ligaments: Insufficient strength and flexibility in muscles and ligaments can make them more susceptible to sprains and strains.

What are the Symptoms of a Sprain or Strain?

Symptoms of sprains and strains can vary, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and functional limitations. Sprains and strains both cause similar symptoms, which may include pain in the affected area, swelling, inflammation, tenderness, restricted range of motion, and difficulty using or moving the injured area. The severity of your symptoms can vary depending on the extent of the injury, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and functional limitations.

How are Sprains and Strains Diagnosed?

To diagnose a sprain or strain, Inspira’s orthopedic specialists will perform a physical examination, ask you about your symptoms and review your medical history. They may also order imaging tests which may include X-ray, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or ultrasound, to get a closer look at the damage to your ligaments, muscles, or tendons. In addition, these imaging tests can assess the extent of your injury and rule out other possible conditions.

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Sprain and Strain Treatment Options

Sprain and strain treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Your doctor may recommend:

Icing a Sprain
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Our Approach to Sprains and Strains

At Inspira, we understand the effect that sprains and strains can have on your daily life. Our experienced team of orthopedic specialists is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to your entire musculoskeletal system to optimize your recovery. Through evidence-based care, tailored rehabilitation programs, and personalized treatment based on your needs and preferences, we ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients.

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