Strains Vs Sprains


Strains versus Sprains: What’s the Difference?

Distinguishing Between Strains and Sprains

Ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect and hold bones to other bones. These are very strong parts of your anatomy. When ligament fibres do tear, the nearby joint can feel unstable. Ligament tears usually have a normal inflammatory reaction.

Recognising the Symptoms of Ligament Sprains

Pain from ligament tears is often aggravated with movement or if the ligament is under stress. Sometimes, if a ligament has fully torn, there’s less pain than with a less severe injury.

Physiotherapy for Ligament Sprains

Your physiotherapist can grade the severity of a ligament sprain, guiding treatment and predicting recovery times.

Identifying Muscle Strains

Muscle strains can be mistaken for ligament sprains. Post muscle tear, you’ll likely feel weakness rather than instability. The pain will also be localised over the muscle or tendon body.

How Sprains and Strains Differ in Treatment

Treatment varies as sprains often need more support and may need bracing, while muscle strains benefit from gentle movements sooner.

Initial Care for Injuries: The RICE Method

In both instances, following the basic principles of rest, ice, compression, and elevation is advised in the injury’s early stages. Avoid heat until at least two days post-injury.

The Importance of Professional Consultation

It’s vital to consult a professional when recovering from strains or sprains. Re-injuring a healing area due to premature and incorrect rehabilitation is a risk. Seek guidance from your physiotherapist for more information.

Note: Always get professional advice before starting a post-operative exercise programme.

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