As your children start playing outside more in the warm weather and get ready for spring and summer sports, you have to be prepared to handle the inevitable injuries. While a sprain or strain can seem serious because of the initial pain they cause, you can prevent long-term injury in your child by knowing how to treat them and doing so quickly. Learn this important information about strains and sprains so that you can take the proper steps before going to a medical walk-in clinic for further treatment.
What are sprains and strains?
Before you can treat these injuries, you need to know what they are. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is fibrous tissue that joins bones together at your joints. A strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon, which attaches your muscles to your bones.
Both injuries happen when your ligaments or muscles have been stretched too far. Sprains can also occur when you tear a ligament. While strains are most common in back, neck or leg muscles, sprains are more likely to occur in the wrists, knees or ankles. In fact, reports estimate that 25,000 Americans sprain their ankles every day.
How can you tell if your child has a sprain or strain?
Although these two injuries are caused by similar actions and are often grouped together, you can typically tell the difference between them. If your child has strained a muscle, the area of the strained muscle will feel tender and sore. Depending on the injury and affected muscle, it could start to hurt immediately or several hours later. A strain may also appear bruised.
A sprain will almost always start to hurt as soon as it happens to your child. The sprained joint will typically swell and look bruised. Your child may find it hard to move the injured part or put any weight on it, and they may even think that they have broken a bone.
What do you do in the event of a sprain or strain?
The first thing to do is instruct your child to not move the injured body part at all. If they try to walk on an injured leg or lift with an injured arm, they could make it even worse. To lessen your child's immediate pain, you can elevate the injured area and put ice on it.
The next step is to visit the nearest walk-in clinic for immediate medical treatment. Once there, a medical professional will be able to take X-rays, prescribe pain medication, or put a splint or cast on your child.
Be sure to find an Immediate Clinic near you for treatment from medical professionals who care about your family's well-being.