As experienced St. Louis Park Chiropractors, we like answering the questions we receive from our patients. A frequent inquiry is “what is the difference between a sprain and a strain?” Both are commonly diagnosed injuries to the musculoskeletal system, but one involves damage to a joint while the other involves damage to the muscle. Our St. Louis Park Chiropractors are here to help and clear up any confusion.
Here are three ways Sprains and Strains differ from each other.
1. Sprains and strains affect different parts of the body.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH), a sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament that provides joint stability. A Strain is stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon.
2. Different actions most often cause sprains and strains.
A sprain is commonly caused by moving the wrong way because the movement forces a joint into a position it’s not meant to be in and ends up stretching or tearing the ligament. Some sprains you may have experienced in the past may have been caused by twisting an ankle, falling, or trying to catch yourself on an icy or slippery walkway.
Strains often result from overexertion or trauma, and repetitive movement to a muscle. Things like lifting a heavy object, jumping or a strenuous exercise routine, or repetitive movements are all ways people can end up straining a muscle.
3. Sprains and Strains usually affect the body in different areas.
Sprains occur at parts of the body that are injured when falling or suddenly twisting. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ankle sprains alone number around 2 million each year.
Sprains commonly happen in ankles, wrists, knees, and fingers. Strains, on the other hand, more often occur in the shoulders, lower back, hamstrings, or quads, as these areas are more commonly affected by overexertion and repetitive movement.
Similarities of Sprains and Strains.
Both share common symptoms. Both injuries may cause pain, swelling, and limited movement at the injury site. Pain can vary from moderate to intense, depending on the severity. Both may benefit from rest, icing, and elevation.
They can require surgery. Most strains and sprains heal on their own over time, but severe injuries may require surgery to repair, especially if a tear is involved. With both injuries, it’s essential to visit your St. Louis Park Chiropractor if you or the individual is experiencing severe pain swelling, or decreased mobility.
Both benefit from Chiropractic Care. Chiropractors work wonders on the spine, but they can also assist in lessening the impact of a strain or sprain injury, too.
There are lots of benefits to seeing a Chiropractor for a sprain or strain. Our Chiropractic treatments help promote healing of the injured tissues, along with stabilizing the areas around the injury to prevent future chances of injury.
Sprains and strains don’t have to keep you on the sidelines or from doing what you love. Be sure to take the proper steps to avoid suffering from a sprain or strain.
Properly stretching is vital in preventing strains and avoiding overexertion. Make sure to watch where you are walking; take clear paths to avoid falls. Ask your Chiropractor about proper bending and lifting techniques to help prevent awkward twisting and decrease the risk of a sprain/strain.
If you or someone you know happen to suffer from a sprain or strain, please do not hesitate to contact us for help. If your injury came from an auto accident, be sure to reach out right away. You are entitled to $20,000 of medical care no matter who was at fault, which does NOT affect your premium. You do not have to live in pain or suffer longer than needed. Contact us today for a free consultation. We have years of experience in working with patients suffering from sprains and strains.