Minor Strains & Sprains: Emergency Room Near You

Minor Strains & Sprains: Emergency Room Near You

If you live an active life, then chances are that you will suffer from a sprain or strain at one time or the other. If you are actively involved in physical activities especially, like playing sports and so forth, then you know that sprains and strains are common injuries and pretty much come with the territory as far as you are concerned. Sprains and strains are most of the time used interchangeably but they are actually two different types of injuries. A sprain involves ligaments, which are the strong, elastic bands of tissue that connect and hold our bones in joints. A sprain occurs when your ligaments become overstretched or are torn when more force than they can be able to withstand is exerted on them. Wherever there are ligaments in your body, a sprain can occur such as your ankles, knees, wrists among other parts of your body. A strain on the other hand involves muscles and tendons, which are the tissues that attach muscles to bone. If a muscle or tendon in your body becomes stretched too far, or is even torn, then that is what is referred to as a strain. Minor strains and sprains are common injuries and it is important to know how you can proceed when you suffer such an injury as well as when it becomes necessary to head over to an emergency room near you.

Sprains and strains are classified according to severity in which there are three classifications; grade 1 or mild, grade 2 or moderate and grade 3 or severe. Grade 1 or mild sprains usually occur when you overstretch a ligament in your body or if there is a slight tear of the same. The symptoms of a grade 1, or mild sprain include pain, although pain that is not that severe, some swelling on the affected joint, with this sort of injury causing no instability to the affected joint. Grade 1 or mild strains on the other hand also only involve overstretching or a slight tear of a muscle or tendon in your body. Symptoms of this sort of injury include some pain in the injured area as well as some tenderness. Mild sprains and strains usually don’t require medical attention and can be handled comfortably at home with home remedies. The main treatment for such injuries is the R.I.C.E technique which involves resting, icing, compressing and elevating the injured area as well as over-the-counter pain relievers for the pain if needed.

You may also suffer a moderate or grade 2 sprain or strain which involve tearing of ligaments, muscles or tendons, although without a complete rupture. A grade 2 sprain usually comes with symptoms such as moderate pain, bruising, swelling and some instability in the injured joint especially when you try to move it. The joint may move, but it has a reduced range of motion. On the other hand, a grade 2 or moderate strain also causes moderate pain, swelling, bruising as well as a limited range of motion of the injured area. Treatment of moderate sprains and strains is also through the R.I.C.E technique although you should look out for red flags that indicate that you need to head over to an emergency room for them to be attended to. For instance, if your sprain and strain is not improving or feeling better after treating it with home remedies for 3 to 5 days, then you should have it looked at in an emergency room near you. You should also head over to an emergency room near you if you notice that the pain or swelling is getting worse or if you begin to notice signs of infection such as a fever, red streaks among others on the injured area.

While minor strains and sprains can be handled at home with home remedies, the R.I.C.E technique and over the counter medication as discussed above unless under special circumstances, severe strains and sprains can’t and have to be evaluated at an emergency room as soon as possible, especially since most cases may require surgery for treatment. A grade 3 or severe sprain usually involves the complete tear of one or more ligaments and the symptoms here include severe pain, severe swelling and bruising with the joint being completely unstable. You may not be able to move it or put any sort of weight on it and you may also notice some severe discoloration, numbness or a tingling sensation. A grade 3 or severe strain involves severely damaged or completely torn muscles and tendons and will have symptoms such as severe pain, extremely limited or no movement at all of the injured area as well as severe swelling, bruising and discoloration. Severe or grade 3 sprains and strains should always be handled at an emergency room where you will have access to sedation to help you with the pain. Such injuries are also usually accompanied by fractures and as such you have to go to an emergency room so that a fracture can be ruled out or if it is ruled in, you can receive the necessary treatment.

Hopefully, from the above discussion, you will be able to know how to identify and treat minor strains and sprains as well as when you need to go to an emergency room near you for such injuries if you ever suffer one.


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