What are Sprains and Strains?
If you have ever tried to define sprains and strains but couldn’t figure out the differences between them, you’re not alone. Often these terms are used interchangeably to describe the tearing or over-stretching of soft tissues. There is a key difference, a sprain is an injury to the ligaments while a strain is an injury to muscles or tendons.
Recognizing Sprains and Strains Symptoms
Symptoms of strains, sprains, and breaks can be virtually identical, they become even more indistinguishable when the injury first occurs. The first symptom of any injury is usually pain, making it difficult to put weight on the affected area or move in a certain direction.
Patients are always recommended to consult with a medical professional to identify exactly what type of injury they have sustained.
Sprains and strains are similar in that they both have varying levels of severity. Moderate sprain result from a partial tear while in a severe sprain the ligament tears completely from the bone. Both moderate and severe sprains can be characterized by pain, swelling, bruising, and inflammation.
Mild strains result when a ligament is overstretched and in moderate and severe strains we often see a loss of muscle function. In moderate strain, the muscle or tendon is partially torn, while in the case of severe strain, it may be completely ruptured. With mild, moderate, and severe strains patients can experience pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, swelling, and inflammation.
The 5 most common symptoms of sprains and strains include:
- Pain in the affected area
- Weakness in the affected area
Physiotherapy for Sprains and Strains
A sprain or strain can increase the risk of re-injury in that area by 40 to 70 percent, so it’s vital for patients who have sustained an injury to work with a physiotherapist to stretch and strengthen the area and decrease re-injury risk. A physiotherapist will often begin with non-weight-bearing exercises. As soon as a patient is comfortable with non-weight-bearing exercises, they may begin performing similar exercises but with light resistance. These exercises will eventually transition to weight-bearing exercises as the area begins to recover.
Personalized Assessment for Sprained Foot
At Brentwood Physiotherapy, we understand that every sprain and strain is unique, requiring a personalized approach to assessment. Our team of skilled professionals is dedicated to providing thorough and individualized assessments for sprains and strains. Through a comprehensive evaluation, we will identify the specific nature and severity of your injury, taking into account your medical history and any contributing factors. By tailoring our assessment to your specific needs, we can develop a targeted treatment plan that addresses your pain, promotes healing, and helps you regain your mobility and function. With our personalized approach, we strive to provide the highest level of care and support throughout your recovery journey.
Brentwood Physiotherapy has a team of physiotherapists in Calgary with experience and expertise in the treatment of sprains and strains. Each of our registered physiotherapists has been specializing in treating these injuries for years. We utilize the latest evidence-based exercises and treatments to manage each patient’s symptoms. Our personalized physiotherapy treatment programs will first focus on relieving symptoms, then on improving strength, flexibility, and mobility in the of affected area, in a detailed and effective manner.