Many people suffer from sprains and strains in their muscles or ankles. While this issue is commonly experienced by people who are athletic and enjoy working out for long hours at the gym, others can too suffer from it by just doing daily chores such as housework, office work or even gardening.
Despite being somewhat similar, both these issues aren’t the same. We are often mistaken and use these terms interchangeably to describe overstretching or tearing of soft tissues in and around our joints. However, in reality, these are very different from one another. To begin with, both these pain are distinctly different and also occur in different areas of the body.
Strains occur when muscles are overstretched or torn and they normally take 3 to 6 weeks to heal. On the other hand, sprains are stretching or tearing of ligaments-the tough bands of fibrous tissues that connect two bones in our joints. Minor sprains usually heal in 1-3 weeks, provided a proper test is taken. Moderate injuries may require up to 3-4 weeks for the injury to heal. Due to limited blood flow to the ligaments of the ankle, extremely severe injuries may require a good 3-6 months to heal completely. Injuries that require surgical treatments usually take longer to heal.
What Is The Difference Between Sprains And Strain?
While these were some of the basic differences between sprain and strain, let’s get into the details and find out how different they are from each other and in which exact ways.
To begin with, acute strains occur immediately after an injury to the muscle or tendon. They may or may not be chronic and can develop over time by repetitive overuse of the troubled muscle. This is why most physiotherapists suggest their patients halt their sports practice for some time and avoid lifting heavyweights in the gym. They can get better with the use of pain relief balm. You can check out the pain relief products of KMP Ayurvedic. They help get rid of pain easily and are enriched with the goodness of Ayurveda. The most common body location to experience strains is in the foot, leg or back. Sprains, on the other hand, often occur in ankles due to sports or recreational activities. When this happens, your joint moves in an unnatural way and the ligament gets stretched and pulled. Thereby causing a lot of discomfort.
Symptoms of Strains and Sprains
A major reason why people often get confused between sprain and strain is due to their similar symptoms. Other than the fact that both these injuries involve different areas of our body, the pain caused by them are extremely identical. People suffering from sprain or strain both have these few symptoms in common:
- Pain or tenderness
- Bruising or redness
- Limited ability to move the affected joint.
- Muscle weakness
An exception being, Hearing or feeling a “pop” in your joint at the time of injury and bruising around the affected joint are a clear symptom of sprains whereas spasms in the affected muscle are indications of strains.
**The symptoms of both these injuries may vary, depending on their severity.
Common Causes of Both:
In today’s humdrum life, facing injuries is common. Especially the ones that affect our muscles. Whether it’s sitting long hours in front of the screen or rushing out of the house to avoid being late to work, our bones and muscles do go through a lot in our daily lives. Hence, sprains and strains are pretty common to happen. This doesn’t make them any less painful. Here are some common reasons why people often suffer from these two injuries:
- Working out intensely at the gym without precautions
- Lifting heavyweights
- Accidents such as tripping or falling
- Distorted walk
- athletic activities or exercise, including running or jogging
How to Prevent Both of Them?
As they always say, prevention is better than cure. Both Strains and sprains are extremely painful so it’s better to take precautionary measures to avoid being bedridden. Here are some basic day-to-day things to keep in mind to prevent suffering from either of these injuries:
- Don’t jump on straight to lifting weights as soon as you enter the gym. Warm-up first. Stretch. This prepares your muscles.
- Do not wear heels if you have a long day planned and remember to wear proper training shoes when you go for a run.
- Make sure your shoes fit you well. No matter how attractive they are to look at, they’re likely to cause a lot of damage if they aren’t your size.
- Avoid running on uneven surfaces.
- If your joints ache or muscles are extremely sore, don’t push yourself to work out. It might cause more of a negative effect than a positive one.
- Include nutrients like vitamins and proteins in your diet. Not only are they good for strengthening your bones and muscles but also help in healing them when they suffer from damages.
How Can You Cure Them?
You can’t do a lot once the damage is done. But you can surely work towards making it better and fixing the issue. If the sprain isn’t too severe then surgery can be avoided.
Other than that, for the first 72 hours do not consume alcohol and don’t apply heat on the injured area. Over the counter, pain relief ailments such as balms and oil can help ease the pain. Leave the affected area along with the medication and do not try to use it. Apply an ice pack regularly as it helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Compression will help reduce the swelling. Wrap the affected joint in a bandage or trainer’s tape. Remember not to wrap too tight. That can reduce the blood supply. To further decrease the swelling, try to keep the affected joint elevated above the level of your heart.
Most importantly, consult a doctor before you leave your bed thinking the injury is healed. Some issues are deep-rooted and it is better to be sure than regretful.