21 Jun Debilitating Strains and Sprains
We usually think of strains and sprains as annoying and maybe a little painful, but debilitating? Mend Clinic treats all types of orthopedic urgent care situations, and staff has seen a number of strains and sprains capable of making a person nearly unable to function. We depend on our back to do the heavy lifting (literally and figuratively) including bending and twisting. If muscles are stretched or torn in our legs, knees, shoulders or another extremity, these strains and sprains can prove to be unbearably painful.
Strains and Sprains Injuries
Strains and sprains can lead to soft tissue inflammation, and perhaps muscle spasms. There are three major muscle groups that support the spine, including the extensors, flexors, and obliques. Any muscle in these groups can be damaged, and the pain can radiate into the buttocks, knees, and possibly feet. You may first notice a stiff back, lack of mobility, and an inability to keep your “normal posture.” Fortunately, both sprains and strains last only up two weeks, and will heal on their own—as long as you allow them to.
To diagnose a strain or sprain, very little is needed. However, if the pain lasts more than two weeks, a patient may require an x-ray so the doctor can check the underlying structure. This can rule out fractures, tumors, infections, and other more serious issues. In rare cases, an MRI may be ordered. This offers a 3-D view via magnets and can show nerve roots, the spinal cord, degeneration, and more.
How To Help You Strains and Sprains
The most common treatment for these types of injuries is bed rest for up to three days. Keep it short, because resting too long can keep the muscle from regaining strength and make the situation more painful. Oftentimes, mild pain management may also be prescribed. In some cases, physical therapy can also be encouraged. This can be partnered with ice and heat therapy, massage, electrical muscle stimulation, stretching, or an ultrasound. If the injury occurred because of an existing weakness, physical therapy can help strengthen the area so the chances of recurrence are slim.
To prevent strains and sprains, strengthen the impacted area and make sure you use proper lifting techniques with weight training. Practicing correct posture and choosing cardio that is low stress on the back, knees, and other joints (like swimming) is a good idea. If you’re suffering from any type of pain, you can walk into Mend Clinic today, Salem, OR’s ER alternative.