Sprains and strains are common injuries that share similar signs and symptoms but involve different part of your body. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments, the tough bands of fibrous tissues that connects two bones together in your joints. The most common location for a sprain is in your ankle.
A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Strains often occur in the lower back and in the hamstring muscles in the back of your thigh.
Common causes are sports related injuries as well injuries for over-doing and excessive activity beyond a person’s normal capacity. It also happens due to trauma or accidents resulting in extension or pulling of muscles or ligaments beyond normal range.
It is also common when athletes don’t have proper sleep and are sleep deprived, in addition a proper warm up before any exercise is also very important in preventing these injuries.
Treatments commonly include:
Initial treatments for both sprains and strains includes Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Mild sprains and strains can be successfully treated at home. If sprains and strains don’t heal within a couple of weeks or pain is severe then medical attention should be considered. Medical treatment may include oral medications, injection of steroids and physical therapy.
Interventional injections such as steroids
Stem cell treatment may provide relief in patients who are not responding to standard treatment options.
Surgical treatments should be a last resort, in cases where interventional injections are not effective. Severe sprains and strains sometimes require surgery to repair torn ligaments, muscles or tendons.