Fitness for Life
December 21, 2007
A strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon. In a strain, a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. A sprain can happen when a person falls and lands on an arm or foot, or twists their knee. However, sprains usually occur on the ankle. Sometimes when people fall and land on their hand, they sprain their wrist. A sprain to the thumb is common in skiing and other sports.
The signs and symptoms of sprains include pain, swelling, buising, not being able to move or use the joint, etc. Sometimes people feel a pop or tear when the injury happens. A sprain can be mild, moderate, or severe.
Strains and sprains are caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. They can happen suddenly or develop over days or weeks. A sudden strain is caused by a recent injury, lifting heavy objects the wrong way, or over-stressing the muscles. Chronic strains are usually caused by moving the muscles and tendons the same way over and over.
Treatments for sprains and strains are the same. To reduce swelling and pain in the first day or two, doctors usually say to rest the injured area, put ice on the injury for 20 minutes at a time, copess the injury using badages, put the appendage on a pillow, or take medicines.
To prevent sprains and strains remember to warm up and stretch before playing sports, exercise every day, try to avoid falling, maintain a healthy weight, and run on flat surfaces.