Strains, Sprains and Fractures

What are strains, sprains and fractures? 

Strains, sprains, and fractures are some of the most common injuries seen in the physician’s office. A strain is an injury caused by over-stretching or over-using a muscle. A sprain is an injury to a muscle, a tendon (tissue that connects muscle to bone), or a ligament (tissue that connects bone to bone). A fracture is a broken bone.


What are some common causes of strains, sprains and fractures?

Common causes of these injuries include falls, twisting injuries, sport injuries, and over-exertion. All cause pain and swelling.


How can I treat a strain, sprain or fracture at home?

The best thing to do for your body after a strain, sprain or fracture is to rest. You need to elevate and ice the area to reduce pain and swelling early after the injury. You should avoid putting weight on the injury for 24-48 hours. You can take things like Tylenol® or Advil® for pain control and control of inflammation. You should remove all rings and jewelry if you have a hand injury.


When should I seek Professional Care?

You should seek immediate medical attention if you have an obvious broken bone or severe pain, if you are unable to support weight on the affected area, if you have a joint that feels unstable or wobbles, if you experience numbness or tingling, or if you are uncertain of the extent of the injury.


How can I prevent a strain, sprain or fracture?

You can check your home for general safety measures to prevent falls. This includes keeping walkways and stairs free of clutter. Your carpets should be secure to the floor and you should have sturdy railings in place on both sides of the stairs. Before any vigorous activity, to prevent sports related injuries you should stretch and warm-up. Try not to over-exert yourself. You should also wear appropriate shoes that fit well and are designed for your activity.