Sprains and Strains Treatment Questions and Answers
If you experience a sprain or strain, it is best to have the injury examined by a medical professional. Get immediate care by the experience and caring doctors at Physicians Now Urgent Care. We also provide walk-in services. Call us today for more information or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 15215 Shady Grove Road, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850.
What is the difference between sprain and strain?
A sprain occurs if a ligament is stretched out too much or torn. It is known as the tough band of fibrous tissue that connects two bones together in your joints.
A strain focuses on a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. The tendons are tissues that connect a muscle to the bone. Twisting or pulling these tissues will cause a strain. Strains can happen suddenly, but they can also develop over time.
The main difference between a sprain and a strain is an injury of the bands which is the tissue that connects the two bones together, while a strain involves an injury to your muscle or to the band of tissue that is attached to a muscle or bone.
Treatment of both sprains and strains usually involves the RICE method, which is resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage to compress the area, and elevating to bring down the swelling. Many will also include medicine like pain relievers to help. Depending on the severity of the sprain or strain, later treatments may include exercise, physical therapy, and massage.
What are the symptoms of sprain and strain?
The common characteristic symptoms of a strain or sprain include:
- Loss of the ability to move and use the joint
These signs may vary in intensity, as it will vary on the severity of the sprain or strain. Many have noted they felt a pop or tear when the injury occurred. While this is not always the case, it is best if you feel any of the above symptoms, to get checked out immediately by a medical physician, like ours at Physicians Now. Our team of medical professionals specializes in walk-in medical services for children to seniors, and we are open and available when you need us most, Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday to Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
What happens if a sprain or strain is left untreated?
Too often we notice patients come in long after their initial injury, complaining about overdue pain and what treatments are available to help. If a sprain or strain is left untreated after the initial injury occurs and heals on its own accord, the injury like the ankle will become unstable, which will then lead to chronic pain, swelling, instability, and in the end most of the time our patients end up with arthritis.
It is highly recommended that medical treatment is not delayed after an injury like a sprain or strain occurs. They should be immobilized quickly, and put into a stable position, before coming into our clinic for our medical physicians to take a look at the injured area to diagnose and offer a treatment method.
A few things you should NOT do when it comes to a sprain or strain:
- Do not try to walk it off and act like the injury never occurred. Severe sprains or strains should immediately be immobilized and should not be used until further medical examination is completed, and a medical recommendation is offered
- Do not ignore the injury. This will provide the highest risk factor of future sprains or strains which can lead to more issues down the road. As stated above, if left untreated, it can quickly lead to instability, and ultimately arthritis in the injured area.
- Do not delay treatment if it is needed. The ligaments should be positioned into a stable position which will enable the ligaments to start healing correctly while the injury is fresh and the body is sending inflammatory signals and growth factors to heal the sprain or strain.
If you experience a sprain or strain, it is best to have the injury examined by a medical professional, look into rehabilitation treatment options to help get you on your feet faster, and immobilize the area until it is recommended you can start to use it.
How long does it take for a sprain or strain to heal?
This will depend on the severity of the injury in the first place. Generally speaking, usually, within 2 weeks, most sprains and strains will begin to feel better. It is always recommended to avoid strenuous exercise and activity like running for a minimum of 8 weeks to help the injury continue to heal and limit the risk of further damage. If the sprain or strain is severe, it can take up to a few months to completely get back to normal.
Visit our urgent care location today if you need medical attention. We have knowledgeable and caring physicians on staff to help with your problem so you can feel comfortable once again. We serve patients from Rockville MD, Travilah MD, Darnestown MD, Germantown MD, Gaithersburg MD, Colesville MD, and Bethesda MD.
Additional Services You May Need
▸Head Injury and Concussion Services
▸Flu Shots & Tests
▸Immunizations and Vaccinations
▸Motor Vehicle Accident Exam
▸School Health Assessment
▸Sports / Camp Physicals
▸Strep & Sore Throats
▸Confidential STD Testing
▸Bacterial Infections Treatment
▸Dizziness and Vertigo Treatment
▸IV Fluids Treatment
▸Eye Infection Doctor
▸POTS Treatment Center
▸Veterans Health Clinic