Sprains, Strains and Tears
Strains, sprains and tears are common injuries. These injuries are similar, but involve different types of body tissue. Most of these injuries happen during sports or active play but can occur at any time. A strain, sprain or tear can be painful. However, with the right treatment, most heal with no lasting problems.
A sprain is an injury to the ligaments or capsule that holds a joint together. There are no broken bones. Most sprains take about three to six weeks to heal. If the ligament is completely torn (severe sprain), it can take months to recover.
A strain is an injury to a muscle or to a tendon (tissue that connects muscle to bone). It is sometimes called a “pulled muscle.” A strain happens when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far or is partially torn. Symptoms of a strain are pain, swelling, and having a problem moving or using the injured area. The hamstring (thigh muscle), calf muscle and Achilles tendon are commonly strained.
A tear often occurs when a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion. This can stretch or tear the ligament, much like the fibers of a rope coming apart. Both surgical and nonsurgical treatment has been used to recover from a tear. Treatment often consists of medications to relieve inflammation and pain, physical therapy (PT) to strengthen the injured area and other options if the injury is more severe.
Freeman orthopaedic physicians provide the most up-to-date, effective treatments. The expert team at Freeman Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is dedicated to ensure patients receive optimal care.