Sprains, strains and tears are different types of injuries, and it’s important to know how they differ, a sports massage therapist says.
A sprain is the overstretching or tearing of ligaments, which are the tissues that connect bones to each other and stabilize them.
“Sprains occur when the joint is forced into an unnatural position. They happen most often in the ankle but can occur at any joint, such as the wrist or knee,” said Martin Mufich. He is also a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Nursing. Symptoms of a sprain include joint or muscle pain, inflammation, hampered movement, tenderness and bruising. “A mild sprain should take approximately seven to 10 days to heal,” Mufich said in a university news release.
“A torn ligament is considered a severe sprain that will cause pain, inflammation, bruising and result in ankle instability, often making it difficult and painful to walk. Recovery from a torn ligament may take several weeks, and should be done under the supervision of a health-care provider,” he explained.
A strain is the overstretching or tearing of a muscle or a tendon, which connects the muscles to the bones. It can occur from a single incident or over time. “An acute strain is an instantaneous stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon, whereas, a chronic strain stems from repetitive motions over time that place stress on the muscle or tendon,” Mufich said. Symptoms of a strain include muscle spasms, weakness, cramping, immobility, pain, bruising and swelling. It can take a few weeks for symptoms of a mild-to-moderate strain to ease, he explained.
A tear is the ripping of tissue in ligaments, muscles or tendons.
“Typically, the worse a tear, the more inflammation and pain a person will experience, and the longer it will take for the injury to heal,” Mufich said. In general, the treatment for sprains, strains and tears involves a plan called “RICES” — Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Stabilization. However, for some severe tears, such as those of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee, surgery may be needed.
Mufich said that it is normal to experience some discomfort during the healing process from any of these injuries, but there should not be any sharp pain. “If you are not seeing improvements within 24 hours or it is getting worse, contact a health-care provider,” he advised.
SOURCE: Texas A&M, news release, Feb. 23, 2017
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Preventing Sports Injuries
Many athletes largely depend on chiropractic care to enhance their physical performance. New research studies have determined that aside from maintaining overall health and wellness, chiropractic can also help prevent sports injuries. Chiropractic is an alternative treatment option utilized by athletes to improve their strength, mobility and flexibility. Spinal adjustments and manual manipulations performed by a chiropractor can also help correct spinal issues, speeding up an athlete’s recovery process to help them return-to-play as soon as possible.
TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7®️ Fitness Center
Professional Scope of Practice *
The information herein on "The Differences Between a Sprain, a Strain and a Tear" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Blog Information & Scope Discussions
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card