Helpful Articles from Connect Chiropractic

Don’t Strain Yourself

sprain-injury chiropractor
Ankles are one of the most common sites for sprains to occur.

What’s the difference between a sprain and a strain?

sprain is a stretch or tear of ligaments (tough bands of fibrous tissue connecting two bones in your joints). 

strain is a stretch or tear to a muscle or tendon (bands of tissue at the end of a muscle that connects to the bone). 

What can cause a sprain / strain injury?

  • Trauma / accidents – e.g. falls, car accidents, sporting accidents 
  • Twisting or pulling motion
  • Overexertion
  • Repetitive movements 
  • Strenuous movements 
  • Improper movements or exercise

Where do sprain / strain injuries usually occur?

Common areas for sprains include ankles, knees, wrists and fingers.  On the other hand, strains tend to affect the back/neck, hamstring, calf, elbow and shoulder areas. 

What are the signs and symptoms of a sprain / strain injury?

Both types of injuries can involve localised pain, swelling, bruising, limited movement and problems with weight bearing on the affected area.  Some people may also report hearing a popping or snapping sound at the time of injury.  Depending on the severity of the sprain/strain injury, pain levels may range from mild to severe.  Strains can also cause muscle cramping, weakness and tenderness. 

What to do in the event of a sprain / strain injury?

In the case of an acute injury, employ RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate to help minimise inflammation and pain.  If the sprain/strain injury is in the moderate to severe range, it is highly recommended to seek advice from a health professional as you may require specialised management and rehabilitation.  Healing time varies greatly depending on the severity of the injury.  It can range from 2 weeks (mild) to months (severe). 

How can chiropractic help?

Chiropractic adjustments can help improve and restore joint movement and alignment, help reduce pain and decrease muscle spasm.  Chiropractors can also provide rehabilitative exercises, soft tissue therapy (where indicated and safe), taping and bracing if required and nutritional recommendation for good muscle/joint health and anti-inflammatory purposes. 

How do I minimise the risk of sprain/strain injuries? 

  • Wear well fitting shoes 
  • Warm up and cool down properly prior to exercise
  • Wear protective equipment when playing sports
  • Run on even surfaces
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid playings sports or exercise when you are tired on in pain
  • Use correct lifting techniques 
  • Regular stretch breaks  
  • Break up your routine when doing repetitive activities
  • Have a healthy, well balance diet
  • Remove any falls risks and clear walkways
  • Regular chiropractic care to help maintain alignment, balance and function.

Dr Nicole Hudson

Principal Chiropractor | Connect Chiropractic

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