What’s the difference between ankle sprains and ankle strains? Strains and sprains are often are mistaken to be same injury, however, they are various differences that categorize them into two different injuries-strains & sprains.

STRAIN

What is it? Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that connects muscles to bones. A strain is defined by the injury of a muscles and/or tendon.

Cause & Effect? Results from prolonged overuse and repetitive movement or muscles and tendons. Inadequate rest breaks during intensive training can cause the injury to worsen. Direct causes like blows to the body, over-stretching, and muscle contraction can lead to acute strains.

Symptoms? Pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, swelling, inflammation, and cramping are amongst the common symptoms for a strain injury. For severe strains, muscles/tendons are partially or completely ruptured. For moderate strains, muscles/tendons are over-stretched or slightly torn. For mild strains, muscles/tendons are pulled slightly.

Treatment? R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, & elevate) to minimize the damage. For mild strains, a visit to the doctor will allow you to make a rehabilitation plan. For moderate & severe cases, surgery will be needed along with therapy for healing.

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SPRAIN

What is it? Ligaments stabilize and support the body’s joints. A sprain is typically defined as a stretch and/or tear of a ligament, the fibrous band of connective tissue, joins at the end of one bone to another.

Cause & Effect? A sprain can be caused by both indirect (a fall) and direct (blow to the body) trauma that knocks the joint out position, over-stretches, and in severe cases, ruptures supporting ligaments.

Symptoms? Pain, bruising, swelling, and inflammation are the common symptoms of a sprain injury. For severe sprains, torn ligaments render the joint completely nonfunctional. For moderate sprains, partial tear in joint causing instability, pain and swelling. For mild sprains, ligaments are stretched causing no joint loosening.

Treatment? R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, & elevate) to minimize the damage. For mild cases, visiting the doctor can help schedule a rehabilitation plan . For moderate and severe cases, surgery is needed and therapy for healing.

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TIPS

-Participate in conditioning program to build muscle strength

-Do stretching exercises daily

-Always wear properly fitted shoes

-Nourish your muscles by eating a well-balanced diet

-Warm up before activity, including practices

-Use or wear protective equipment appropriate for activity.

 

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