Understanding Sprains and Strains
Sprains are tears or stretches in a ligament; the most common type of sprain is a sprained ankle. In noncontact sports, repeating the same motions can cause strains. Sprains and strains of the ankle can cause pain and inflammation; the worse the sprain or strain, the more difficult it is to use the affected area.
The gold standard of care for sprains and strains is known as “RICE” therapy. RICE therapy is especially important during the first 24 to 72 hours after a sprain or strain. As your pain and swelling improve, you can cut back on RICE therapy. You’ll need ice and compression less often, sue.
Do torn ligaments heal on their own?
Ligaments naturally heal on their own, but you can inadvertently slow down or completely undo your body’s natural healing processes. If you do not properly treat a ligament injury, it will take longer to heal and be more likely to occur again.
Does a torn ligament hurt all the time?
“A torn ligament is a severe sprain that causes pain, inflammation, bruising, and ankle instability, making walking difficult and painful. Recovery from a torn ligament can take several weeks and should be done with the help of a health care provider.”
How do you check for a torn ligament?
Order imaging tests, such as an MRI, ultrasound, or x-ray, to confirm the diagnosis of a torn ligament or fracture. Perform a physical exam of the injured area, asking you to squat, hop, step, flex, or bend, testing your ability to move or bear weight on a joint.
Does a torn ligament hurt to touch?
Tenderness around your knee when touched, which can range from mild tenderness over the actual ligament in minor sprains to more generalized and severe tenderness if a ligament is torn.
Do you need surgery for a torn ligament?
Ligament damage is common after a sports injury, and a torn ligament severely restricts knee movement, making it impossible to pivot, turn, or twist the leg. Surgery is an option for repairing a torn ligament if other medical treatments are ineffective.
How long does ligament damage take to heal?
Most sprains and strains will feel better after 2 weeks, but avoid strenuous exercise like running for up to 8 weeks to avoid further damage. Severe sprains and strains can take months to heal.
What is the fastest way to recover from a torn ligament?
- To relieve pain and swelling, ice your knee for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours.
- Compress your knee.
- Raise your knee on a pillow when sitting or lying down.
- Wear a knee brace to stabilize the knee and protect it from further injury.
How do you tell if you have a torn muscle or ligament?
Tears are caused by the ripping of fibrous tissue in a ligament, tendon, or muscle.
- Sudden, severe pain.
- A “pop” sound at the time of the injury.
- The sensation of a loose joint.
- Inability to bear weight on the affected area.
- Immediate bruising.
- Immobility of the affected joint.
Is it worse to tear a ligament or a tendon?
The ripping of tissue in ligaments, muscles, or tendons is known as a tear. “Typically, the worse a tear is, the more inflammation and pain a person will experience, and the longer the injury will take to heal,” Mufich said.
What happens if you don’t treat torn ligaments?
Being in pain and unable to get around can lead to anxiety and social isolation. Other health issues. Loss of mobility and pain can lead to weight gain or obesity, which can lead to other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Can an xray show a torn ligament?
X-rays are sometimes used to rule out a bone fracture, but they don’t show soft tissues like ligaments and tendons.