wrenching or twisting of a joint, with partial rupture of its ligaments. There may also be damage to the associated blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and nerves. A sprain is more serious than a strain, which is simply the overstretching of a muscle, without swelling. Severe sprains are so painful that the joint cannot be used. There is much swelling, with reddish to blue discoloration due to hemorrhage from ruptured blood vessels.
Signs & Symptoms:
Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury.
Limited ability to move the affected joint
At the time of injury, you may hear or feel a “pop” in your joint
A sprain occurs when you overextend or tear a ligament while severely stressing a joint. Sprains often occur in the following circumstances:
Ankle Walking or exercising on an uneven surface
Knee Pivoting during an athletic activity
Wrist Landing on an outstretched hand during a fall
Thumb Skiing injury or overextension when playing racquet sports, such as tennis
How To Cure:
Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. But don’t avoid all physical activity. Instead, give yourself relative rest. With an ankle sprain, you can usually still exercise other muscles to prevent deconditioning. For example, you could use an exercise bicycle, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on a footrest peg. That way you still exercise three limbs and keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.
Ice. Even if you’re 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 while you’re awake for the first few days following the injury. Cold reduces pain, swelling and inflammation in injured muscles, joints and connective tissues. It also may slow bleeding if a tear has occurred. If the iced area turns white, stop treatment immediately. This could indicate frostbite. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, talk with your doctor before applying ice.
Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap it too tightly or you may hinder circulation. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from your heart. Loosen the wrap if the pain increases, the area becomes numb or swelling is occurring below the wrapped area.