Sprains and strains are common injuries of the ligaments and muscles that usually occur after an accident.
Sprains are the tearing of ligaments, the tissues that connect bones to one another at the joint. They are characterised by pain, swelling and difficulty moving the joint, and most commonly affect ankles, wrists and thumbs.
The most common form of sports injury is sudden excessive tension on a tendon, producing a strain or sprain. Common causes of sprains and strains are:
Any accident or occurrence that stresses the joints or muscles beyond their normal tolerance
A new sport or activity
Lifting heavy objects
Repeated muscle contraction, can result in injury.
These injuries usually heal themselves in 2-3 weeks, however the more severe injuries may require surgical repair, which may weaken the muscles or bones and make them susceptible to further injury in the future.
Be sure your injury is completely healed before returning to your full activity levels, particularly if you play contact sport. The pain and inflammation of sprains and strains are your body’s way of letting you know that it has not fully healed yet.
Always stretch and warm up before exercising or lifting heavy or bulky objects.
Consult your healthcare professional if:
The pain, swelling, or stiffness does not improve in two to three days
You can’t move or bear weight on an injured joint
The bones are not aligned properly