A sprained ankle, strained wrist, sprained thumb, twisted knee or pulled muscle can be the result of a slip, fall or trip. It doesn’t take much to roll an ankle – sometimes just a misstep off a path or sidewalk, a slip on a wet rock, or a stumble over an obstacle in your path. Falling can injure your wrist, thumb or fingers. Playing sports can strain a hamstring, arm or hand.1
At Medco ER & Urgent Care of Plano, TX, our board-certified physicians are experienced in diagnosing and treating strains and sprains and making sure the bone wasn’t injured. “Sprains and strains are extremely painful and need medical care to ensure they heal properly,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan.
What’s the difference between a strain and a sprain?
Often used interchangeably, strains and sprains are actually very different because they involve different parts of the joint.
- A strain is an injury to the muscles or tendons around a joint. These can be pulled or torn.
- A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that hold bones together to make a joint stable. Ligaments can be stretched or torn.
Symptoms of sprains and strains
Sprains can exhibit:
- Unable to use the joint
Strains can exhibit:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle cramps
- Painful use of joint or inhibited range of motion
“Most often, sprains and strains are treated with immobility, rest, elevation, ice, compression with bandages or splints, over-the-counter pain relievers, and anti-inflammatories,” said Dr. Khan. “However, some ligament tears or muscle tears can be so severe they require extensive treatment. Surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy may be needed to stabilize the joint.”
“When you come in to see us at Medco ER & Urgent Care, we can personalize a treatment plan that’s customized to your injury and ensure your healing has started on the right path,” said Dr. Kahn.
Preventing a strain or a sprain is crucial if you are playing sports or do a lot of hiking or biking. Pay attention to body mechanics to make sure you don’t overtax an ankle when running or twist a knee with a sudden turn. Use proper lifting techniques.
Here are some other tips that can help keep your joints injury-free: 2
- Choose the right shoes – wear supportive, properly fitting shoes and replace them often
- Choose the right clothes – wear clothes that allow free movement
- Spend time warming up – before you begin your activity, do plenty of stretches, elevate your heart rate, and warm up your joints
- Use a balanced approach to fitness – cross train with cardio, strength, flexibility and endurance
- Use a daily approach to fitness – rather than doing it all on one day, do a little something each day to improve your fitness level
- Stretching is key – after your muscles are warmed up, do slow and careful stretches without bouncing a joint
- Spend time cooling down – walk off the heat from your exercise or activity and allow your joints to stabilize
- Drink water – water supports good joint health and helps keep you from becoming weak and sick from heat exhaustion or heat stroke which can lead to a fall
Get help at Medco ER & Urgent Care
Don’t just try to tough it out if you’ve strained or sprained an ankle, thumb, wrist, knee or other joint. Come to Medco ER & Urgent Care for the proper treatment to help speed healing and prevent reinjury. You’ll be seen within minutes of arrival and our in-house imaging equipment can aid in rapid diagnosis. We’re here 24/7 when you need us.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000