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Back Sprains and Strains

Back Sprains and Strains

Description Of The Injury: A sprain and strain are different injuries that may be miss identified as one or the other. A sprain is an injury to a ligament - the tissue that connects from bone to bone - while a strain is an injury that occurs to a muscle or a tendon - tissue that connects from muscle to bone.

Injury Symptoms: Both sprain and strains are usually accompanied by local swelling, inflammation, bruises, muscle weakness, inability to produce movement without pain. Severity of the swelling, pain, weakness and loss of function can help identify the grade of strain or sprain. Greater severity of the symptoms is associated with higher grades of injury

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

Both strains and sprains can be treated using the same method. This method involves the initial reduction in regular exercise and physical activity for at least the first couple of days. Ice should be applied on the area 20 minutes at a time, 4 - 8 times per day for first several days. The injured area should also be compressed using common injury bandages or a splint and the limb of the injured area should be elevated above chest level to reduce swelling.

Professional Medical Treatments:

Doctor prescribed treatment may range from the prescribing of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to surgery if the strain or sprain is a complete rupture. For the latter, immobilization via a cast, splint or crutches is often necessary after an x-ray or MRI has properly identified the severity of the injury

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

Rehabilitation of the injured area is necessary for complete recovery from a sprain or strain. Improving the range of motion of the injured area is often the first priority. This may include basic circular stretches to more conventional flexibility exercises. Once a moderate amount of range of motion has been restored and pain has reduced, rebuilding the strength of the injured area can be focused on. This can be done using weight-bearing, balance and sport specific exercises.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

One of the most important ways to prevent the chance of a strain or sprain from occurring is to be in a proper physical condition to perform physical activity and sports. Sprains and strains can often occur due to a lack of physical fitness or preparation particularly in strenous sports related conditions. Wearing protective equipment when playing sports and avoiding excessive stress on the ankles will greatly reduce the risk of injury.