Posts Tagged ‘sprain vs. fracture’

Is it a Sprain? Or is it a Strain?

sprain vs strainA common question we field from patients with injuries is, “Is it a sprain? Or is it a strain?” While they both result in similar pain and symptoms, sprains and strains are actually different injuries that involve completely different parts of the body.

A sprain is an injury that affects the ligaments, which are a type of connective tissue that connects bones to other bones. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments are either stretched or torn and depending on the severity of the stretching and tearing, can be very painful. Sprains most commonly affect the ankles, in particular the lateral (outside) portion of the ankle, which can occur from a variety of activities.

Strains, on the other hand, affect the tendons, the fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones, or the muscles themselves. Strains involve the stretching and/or tearing of these tendons or muscles.

Symptoms of Sprains and Strains

The hallmark symptoms associated with sprains and strains are similar

  • Pain
  • Redness and/or bruising
  • Swelling and inflammation at the site of the injury
  • Stiffness in the affected area

Causes of Sprains and Strains

Sprains typically happen suddenly and can occur in a variety of ways. When a person falls or twists in a way that puts their body in an unusual position or is hit with an impact that does the same, sprains can occur. On the contrary, strains can occur over time as a result of prolonged, repetitive movements, or occur suddenly.

One of the most common causes of sprains and strains is participation in athletic activities.

Treatment of Sprains and Strains

Most sprains and strains can typically be resolved with the RICE method – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Depending on the severity of the injury, future treatment and recovery efforts may involve a combination of physical therapy and various exercise techniques.

Seek help from a sports medicine physician if you experience any of the following:

  • Cannot put weight on the affected area without feeling significant pain
  • Cannot move affected joint
  • Have numbness around the injured area
  • Have significant swelling and/or changes in skin color

With proper care, most sprains and strains will heal without long-term side effects.

Prevention of Sprains and Strains

While there is no true way to prevent all sprain and strain injuries, proper stretching and strengthening regimens can help keep your body strong and more resistant to many injuries, including sprains and strains.

The highly-trained physicians and surgeons at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center treat a wide variety of orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine conditions, including sprains and strains from the foot and ankle to hand and elbow.

About Dr. Olufade

Dr. Oluseun OlufadeOluseun Olufade MD, is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Interventional Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. During his fellowship training, he was a team physician for Philadelphia Union, a major league soccer (MLS) team, Widener University Football team and Interboro High School Football team.

Dr. Olufade employs a comprehensive approach in the treatment of sports related injuries and spinal disorders by integrating physical therapy, orthotic prescription and minimally invasive procedures. He specializes also in concussion, tendinopathies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. He performs procedures such as fluoroscopic-guided spine injections and ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections. Dr. Olufade individualizes his plan with a focus on functional restoration.

Dr. Olufade has held many leadership roles including Chief Resident, Vice-President of Resident Physician Council of AAPM&R, President of his medical school class and Editor of the PM&R Newsletter. He has authored multiple book chapters and presented at national conferences.

Find Out How to Prevent, Diagnose & Treat Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprain

Did you know that more than 9 million Americans suffer an ankle sprain each year? Well, if you are one of these individuals or want to learn more about how to prevent an ankle sprain join us on Tuesday, May 27 for a live online chat on “Preventing, Diagnosing & Treating Ankle Sprains” with Emory Othopaedics, Sports & Spine physician Oluseun Olufade, MD. He will be available to answer questions related to a sprained ankle such as:

  • Can I prevent an ankle sprain?
  • What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?
  • How do you diagnose an ankle sprain?
  • How do you treat an ankle sprain?
  • Why should I go to Emory for sports medicine care

Emory Orthopaedic, Sports & Spine physician Dr. Olufade is a dedicated non-surgical sports medicine specialist who can offer tips and suggestions to keep you healthy or get you back to health so you can get back to your normal active routine! Sign Up for the Chat Now!

What Should You Do When You Sprain Your Ankle?

Ankle SprainIt is estimated that 28,000 people injure their ankles every single day in the United States. This is mostly due to engaging in sports and is usually caused due to quick changes in direction, awkward landings from jumps, and stepping on another athlete’s foot.

If you have a suspected ankle sprain, you should see a doctor at the first opportunity to ensure proper diagnosis. Don’t try to just ‘walk off’ the injury and ignore it.

You can take an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to prevent the swelling from getting worse. Common NSAIDS include ibuprofen – such as Advil and Motrin, and naproxen – like Naprosyn. To manage pain immediately, take acetaminophen such as Tylenol. Just make sure to not do so on an empty stomach or exceed the recommended dosage.

After managing the pain, follow American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons’ recommended RICE method to treat the sprain early:

  1.  Rest – Rest your ankle and use crutches till walking is no longer painful without them.
  2. Ice – Apply an ice pack (or improvise with a pack of frozen peas) for 20-30 minutes at a time. You can ice your ankle 3-4 times for the first couple days or until the swelling goes down.
  3. Compression – Use an elastic compression wrap (ACE wraps work well) for the first 2-3 days. Don’t apply the wrap too tightly. Signs that it is too tight are numbness, tingling, pain or swelling below the bandage.
  4. Elevation – Lay on the couch, bed or in the recliner with pillows propping up your leg so your ankle is above the level of your heart. This helps to prevent excess swelling and bruises.

Most ankle sprains will heal on their own if treated properly and the patient completes the exercises prescribed by the physician or physical therapist. Surgery is usually only needed when there are severe tears in the ligament or if a bone is broken. Make an appointment with a sports medicine specialist to evaluate the degree of the ankle sprain and discuss treatment options.

Chat Online with Dr. Olufade About Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprain Q&A ChatIf you want to learn more about ankle sprains, join us on Tuesday, May 27 for a live online chat on “Preventing, Diagnosing & Treating Ankle Sprains” with Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine physician Oluseun Olufade, MD. He will be available to answer questions related to the ankle such as:

  • What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?
  • How do you diagnose an ankle sprain?
  • How do you treat an ankle sprain?

Sign Up for the Chat

About Dr. Olufade
Dr. Oluseun OlufadeDr. Olufade is board certified in Sports Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Interventional Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. During his fellowship training, he was a team physician for Philadelphia Union, a major league soccer (MLS) team, Widener University Football team and Interboro High School Football team. Dr Olufade is also the team physician for Emory University and Blessed Trinity High School.

Dr. Olufade employs a comprehensive approach in the treatment of sports medicine injuries and spinal disorders by integrating physical therapy, orthotic prescription and minimally invasive procedures. He specializes also in treatment of sports related concussions, tendinopathies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. He performs procedures such as fluoroscopic-guided spine injections and ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections. Dr. Olufade individualizes his plan with a focus on functional restoration. Dr. Olufade sees patients at our clinic at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

Dr Olufade has held many leadership roles including Chief Resident, Vice-President of Resident Physician Council of AAPM&R, President of his medical school class and Editor of the PM&R Newsletter. He has authored multiple book chapters and presented at national conferences.

About Emory Ortho, Sports and Spine in Johns Creek and Duluth
Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine has recently opened two new clinics, one in Johns Creek and one in Duluth. Emory physicians, Kyle Hammond, MD, and Oluseun A. Olufade, MD see patients in Johns Creek. Mathew Pombo, MD and T. Scott Maughon, MD see patients in Duluth. Our new clinic locations care for a full range of orthopedic conditions including: sports medicine, hand/wrist/elbow, foot/ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee/hip, concussions, and spine. To schedule an appointment call 404-778-3350.