A strain or a sprain happens when a ligament or tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. These are two of the most common orthopedic injuries and can affect the ankles, wrists, and other parts of the body.
A lot of people who suffer from sprains or strains do not necessarily seek emergency treatment. However, this isn’t always a good idea. If your sprain or strain is mild, you can treat it at home. However, it’s quite difficult to assess whether your sprain or strain is mild or severe without medical advice.
Therefore, if you get a sprain or a strain after a fall, while playing sports, or while doing another activity, you should see an orthopedic physician for a diagnosis and determination of how severe the injury is.
If your sprain or strain is mild, the recommended treatment will be the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, if your injury is severe, other treatment options may be necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of a Strain
A strain is typically caused by overuse and poor conditioning, such as when you try out a new sport or exercise that your muscles are not well-condition to do. A tendon can be either stretched or torn when it is strained. Signs of a strain include pain, swelling, difficulty moving the affected area, and muscle spasms. If you experience any of these and your symptoms are moderate or severe, it is always best to see an orthopedic physician as soon as you can. Bruising and blisters are signs of a more serious injury, in which case, you should seek urgent medical care.
Signs and Symptoms of a Sprain
A sprain is characterized by pain that is in soft tissues, which often sets in after a popping sensation or noise in the area. It is usually a result of sudden twisting a part of the body or a fall while playing sports. One of the most common places to get sprained is the ankle. Ligaments can be either stretched or torn. There will also likely be bruising and swelling in the area. If your symptoms after a suspected sprain are severe (i.e. weakness, pain, swelling), you should seek medical care by an orthopedic physician.
It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose yourself. People have different pain tolerance levels and you may have a significant injury that needs treatment without even knowing it. Therefore, if you suffer an injury and have symptoms, see a doctor as soon as you can. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Urgent Orthopaedic Care in Columbia, Maryland
If you have suffered a strain or a sprain, take the guesswork out of the equation and seek urgent orthopedic care from an orthopedic specialist.
At the urgent care center of the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, you can simply walk in without an appointment, or call ahead at (443) 524-2577 to let us know you are coming. We treat strains, sprains, simple fractures, and much more.
If you have any questions about our orthopedic services, call the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 or submit an appointment request today.