Sprains – A Common Injury

A sprain comes about when a ligament is stretched beyond its capability to stretch. Possibly based on the French word ‘espraindre,’ translating into ‘squeeze’, a sprain commonly occurs in the wrist and also the ankle, though other joints will also be vulnerable. Sprains are especially common in sports. A tennis player may reach too far to return a serve. You could possibly set your foot wrong while running. These include common cases. You have to be extra careful starting a workout program, too. The ligaments aren’t used to the stress. Everyday activity can be just as full of hazards. Over-reaching to the top shelf or twisting an ankle going down some steps are equally prone to producing a sprain.

Sprains are that much easier to understand – and therefore avoid – if we get to know our joints a little better. Any part of our skeleton that allows movement is a joint. The movement is allowed by ligaments, connective tissues that bind different bones together. They are designed to take some amount of stretching in day to day activities. When they cannot bear the excessive stretching, however, a sprain occurs.

The symptoms are pain, followed by swelling and bruising of the damaged joint. A serious sprain may also make a popping sound. Mobility could be impaired, at any time after the injury. There are several tools for checking for sprains. An x-ray will often be used first to check for broken bones. In serious cases, doctors may use an MRI to check for ligament tears or ruptures.

After a sprain, it’s important to allow the joint to rest for a short time. This is to prevent further injury. If at all possible, wait for help where you are. If at all possible, have first aid come to you. Particularly in a sprained ankle, do not put a load on the affected leg. You could try placing an ice pack or bag of ice cubes on the affected part to minimize the pain and swelling. Over-use of ice will slow healing time, though, so be careful not to use it for too long or too often.

Using some kind of elastic wrap to compress the injury is also important. By tying a wrap looser at the point closest to the heart, you can prevent loss of circulation. Good circulation is essential to natural healing. Elevating the damaged joint will also stop some of the swelling.

While most sprains heal fully with time and care, some very sever sprains can cause lasting problems. Some more serious sprains could cause impaired mobility and pain for extended periods of time. In a worst-case scenario, surgery may even be necessary to fully recover.

Like rest, it is important to exercise the affected joint as soon as possible to regain the strength of the joint. Always follow the advice of medical experts, however, or you could risk additional joint damage. Exercise a sprain as slowly and carefully as necessary for the best results.

James K Zane is a exercise and wellness enthusiast. To improve the enjoyment of physical activity for everyone, he has collected a website about sprains here. Follow this link to learn the answer to What is a sprain?.

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