Sprains are injuries where a ligament is stretched or torn within a joint. Common places you might have a sprain can include your ankle, knee and wrist. In severe sprains, the ligaments can be partially or completely torn -sometimes leading to surgery.
A ligament is a strong, fibrous band of rope – like tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint. When you have a sprain, you may have injured one or more ligaments.
A sprain is different from a strain, even though sometimes the terms can get used interchangeably. A strain is a stretch, pill or tear of where a muscle attaches to a bone. In simple words strain give effects from muscle to bone and a sprain from bone to bone.
When you have a sprain, it directly impacts the joint involved. The severity of a sprain can range from the ligament being stretched, partially torn or completely torn. How bad the degree of sprain and how many ligaments are involved.
Sign and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and may includes –
• Limited ability to move the affected joint
• Hearing or feeling a “pop” in your joint at the time of injury
Mild sprains can be treated at home. But the injuries that cause sprains can also cause serious injuries, such as fractures.
You should see a doctor if you –
• Can’t move or bear weight on the affected joint
• Have pain directly over the bones of an injured joint
• Have numbness in any part of the injured area
Sprains occurs when the body is put under physical stress. In these situations, muscles and joints are forced to perfrom movements for which they are not prepared or designed. An injury can occur from a single stressful incident, contact sports or it may gradually arise after many repetitions of a motion. Usually, the mechanism of injury involves placing the muscle tendon unit or the ligament under excessive stretching, causing damage to the muscle, tendon or ligament fibers.
Examples of injuries that cause a sprain can includes –
• Rolling your ankle – either while running, changing direction or landing from a jump.
• Falling or slipping on a wet surface or uneven ground.
• Taking a blow to the body, including contact sports that cause a direct hit or a shift in balance and falls.
Children have areas of softer tissue, called growth plates, near the ends of their bones. The ligaments around a joint are often stronger than these growth plates, so children are more likely to experience a fracture than a sprain.
Risk Factors –
Sprains can happen to both the young and old, as well as the athletic and those doing typical daily activities. You may at an increased risk if-
• You have a history of sprains
• You are in poor physical condition or overweight
• You participate in a lot of physical activity that happens on uneven surfaces
• You are fatigued – tired muscles are less likely to provide good support
Degrees of sprains –
The degrees are determined by how badly the ligaments in the ankle or wrist are injured.
• Mild sprain
There is only a little stretching of the ligaments.
• Moderate sprain
There is a combination of stretching and a little tearing of the ligament.
• Severe sprain
There is a complete tear of the ligament.
• Physical examination
• Imaging tests such as X-rays, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
For immediate self-care of a sprain, try the R.I.C.E. approach – rest, ice, compression, elevation.
Avoid activities that causes pain, swelling or discomfort. But don’t avoid all physical activity.
Even if you are seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. Use an ice pack or slush bath of ice and water for 15 to 20 minutes each time and repeat every two to three hours for the first few days of injury.
To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap it too to tightly or you may hinder circulation.
Elevate the injured area above the level of heart, especially at night, which allows gravity to help reduce swelling.
Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen also can be helpful.
Recovery from sprains can take days to months. A physical therapist can help you to maximize stability and strength of the injured joint or limb.
For some injuries, such as a torn ligament, surgery may be considered.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
In common language sprains are known as moch. It is simply vata alleviation which causes pain and swelling.
Effective therapies –
Beneficial Herbs –
Useful medications –
• Trydosang Gugglu
• Chandraprabha vati
• Shilajit Rasayan Vati
• Maharasnadi Kwath
• Dashmool Kwath
• Mahanarayan Taila
• Dhanwantara Taila
• Mahamasha Taila
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