Some people just cannot seem to catch a break in life. Others do catch a break...but not in a good way. When you take a tumble or a bad step it is easy to strain, sprain or just plain break something. How to fix what went wrong depends on determining exactly what the injury is. Strains and sprains may require localized immobilization and, depending on their severity, physical therapy. For very severe muscle injuries, surgery may be the best course of treatment to follow. Things can only bend so much before they break, and a medical exam and an X-ray imaging test will reveal if your bone is broken and what type of break it is.
Pain levels vary from sprains to breaks, and both will take you out of the game for varying lengths of time. Almost all sprains hurt, and some take even longer than a broken bone to heal. A sprain is what happens when the ligaments, or fibrous tissue, connecting bones at a joint pulls or tears. Breaks and fractures can occur when a bone is hit with more force than it can bear. When the irresistible force meets the immovable object the result can be "Ouch!"
You do not have to strain your brain to understand what a sprain is. Strains and sprains can be mild, moderate, or severe. Tendons,ligaments,and muscles may be completely or partially torn. If it happens that a tendon is completely torn, the affected body part usually cannot move. If only a portion of the tendon is torn, movement is unaffected. However, the tendon may continue to tear and may later tear completely, especially if people put considerable pressure on the affected part.
Glass rarely breaks in only one piece and in many cases this is also true of bones. A fracture may also cause damage to the tissues and ligaments around it. Any injury that breaks a bone could also seriously damage other tissues, including the skin, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and organs. Injuries of this type may complicate treatment of the fracture and/or cause temporary or permanent problems.
Until you can see your doctor basic first aid for sprains consists of a system known as RICE. This term stands for four steps:
I ce for forty-eight hours
C ompression, such as wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage
E levation, or raising the sprained area above the heart
Over-the-counter pain medication, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, can be taken to relieve pain. Children should avoid aspirin as it can cause Reye's syndrome.
Care for Sprains and Fractures at Ocala Family Medical Center