What You Need to Know About Strains and Sprains

Pain and discomfort can really lower your quality of life -- in fact, almost 69% of people say that lower back pain seriously affects their everyday lives. But a lot of the times, small health related issues aren't enough of a reason to go to the hospital, or even necessarily to your regular care provider.

walk in clinic

That is what urgent care centers are for. You can go to one if you need immediate, but not critical, care. One of the many reasons people visit walk in clinics of this sort is to have sprains and joint sprains checked out. As the season of slippery ice approaches, this is bound to become a more common injury. Read on to find out everything you need to know about sprains and strains:

What Is a Sprain?
A strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon -- the tendon is the tissue that connect muscles to bones. A sprain indicates damage to a ligament, which connect two bones together in your joints. They are often characterized by pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to move or use the joint. They usually occur on the ankle, wrist, or thumb.

What Causes Sprains?
Many different things can cause a sprain. For instance, falling, twisting, or getting hit can force joints out of their normal positions. You can also get a sprain by twisting a knee, falling and landing on an arm or on the side of your foot.

How are Sprains and Strains Treated?
The primary treatment for a strain or a sprain is resting that joint or area. For example, if you sprained your knee, your doctor might recommend that you use crutches or a cane when you walk, and to elevate your knee while you are seated.

Icing the injury also might help to reduce inflammation. Ice the area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. Sometimes, compressing the injury might help. A doctor or nurse at a walk in clinic can assess how bad your strain or sprain is and recommend the right course of treatment.

Sprains and strains can be prevented by making sure you get proper exercise every day, avoiding slippery or icy spots, and making sure you wear sturdy footwear with traction whenever possible.