Sprains and Strains Treatment Questions and Answers
Day to day life can come to an immediate halt if you hurt yourself with a sprain or strain. Don’t stay home and try to deal with it alone, visit AFC Urgent Care in Mission Valley. Our professional and caring staffs are here to help you when you need it. Call us today or book an appointment online. We Serve Patients From Mission Valley CA, San Diego CA, Coronado CA, National City CA, Lemon Grove CA, Chula Vista CA and Solana Beach CA.
Sprains and strains are incredibly common musculoskeletal injuries with thousands being treated across the country every day. Although very similar in spelling and in sound, strains and sprains are quite different. Strain injuries involve damage to the muscles or the tissues connecting muscles to bone, such as a tendon, and sprains are injuries to the tissues that connect the bones together, such as a ligament.
What is the difference between a sprain, strain and fracture?
While all are an injury to the musculoskeletal system, all are quite different. A sprain is an injury to the connective tissues that join the bones together, such as ligaments. A strain is an injury to a muscle or the tissues connecting muscles to the bone, such as tendons. A fracture is an injury to the bone, and can be open, closed or displaced.
How are sprains and fractures treated?
When dealing with a sprain or fracture, it is important to follow these instructions until medical assistance is available:
Control any bleeding — Two common ways to control bleeding are:
- To stop the bleeding, apply direct pressure to the source of the bleeding with gauze or a cloth.
- Cover the wound with loosely wrapped gauze or cloth if a bone has broken through the skin. Don’t increase damage by pushing the bone back into place or pressing directly on the bone.
Keep the injured area from moving — What you should do and what to avoid for moving the injury:
- Put a splint made of a rigid material next to the injury, and secure it in place above and below the injury.
- Don’t increase damage by straightening an injury.
- Don’t secure the splint too tight. Loosen the splint immediately if toes or fingers become pale, cold, or numb.
- Rest, elevate, and apply ice to the joint if you suspect the joint is dislocated.
Ice and elevate — Ice and raising the injury can prevent swelling and pain:
- To limit swelling and pain, place ice or a cold pack on the injury for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. To prevent cold injury to the skin, wrap the ice or cold pack in a thin towel before putting it on the skin.
- To ease swelling, raise the injury above the heart when possible.
Seek medical help right away if any of the following applies to your situation:
- The injury has forced a joint beyond its normal range of motion and now the mobility of the joint is greatly hindered.
- A strong force, such as a fall or impact, placed great stress on a bone or joint, especially if a snapping sound was audible.
- The joint or limb looks crooked or bowed.
- You have reasonable belief that a bone is broken.
- You have tingling, numbness, or a cool, pale limb.
How long do strains and sprains take to heal?
Most strains and sprains take about two weeks to heal, although severe injuries can take months. In either case, it is important to avoid strenuous exercise for at least eight weeks, in order to prevent re-injury.
Where should I go if I have a fracture, sprain or strain?
If you have sustained a fracture, sprain or strain, your first thought might be to visit your primary care provider. This can often be inconvenient, as you may have to wait days or even weeks for an appointment. Another option could be the hospital, but ER visits have exorbitant fees. The most convenient option in this situation is likely to be a visit to an urgent care clinic, such as AFC Urgent Care. These specialized healthcare centers are specially designed to handle non-life-threatening yet urgent medical situations and accept walk-in appointments, so there is no need to work around your busy schedule.
If you or someone you know has recently sustained a strain or sprain, come to AFC Urgent Care Mission Valley for treatment! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating strains and sprains and can quickly get you on your feet again. For more information on our sprains and strains treatment, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our sprain and strain specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.