Strains and Sprains
A common occurrence (for most sports people and those who exercise regularly) at some stage in an active persons life, are Strains or Sprains. A Strain is the abnormal stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. Grade 1: The stretching of a few muscle fibres. Grade 2: Muscles are damaged and torn. Grade 3: Complete rupture (tear) of the muscle.
A Sprain is a common form of ligament injury e.g. a sprained ankle (the overstretching or tearing of a ligament).
Grade 1: Overstretched ligament fibres. Grade 2: Partially torn ligaments. Grade 3: Completely torn ligaments.
Initial treatment for all grades is R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation. Most Sprains and Strains resolve with time, but occasionally other treatment, including physical therapy and surgery, may be required.
Anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful in decreasing the pain and inflammation of the injury.
Tip: If your a sportsperson or are regularly physically active, its always handy to have a couple of gel ice packs in the freezer, just in case, and apply them as soon as possible after a strain or sprain, as well as seeking expert medical advice.