Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention for Strains and Sprains

Joints are important parts of our body; they not only form the connections between bones but also provide support and help us move freely. Any kind of disease or injury that results in damage to the joints can interfere with our movement and cause us a lot of pain. The most common type of joint pain is knee pain. This type of pain can be managed with medication, physical therapy, or knee sleeves.

Some conditions that cause painful joints are gout, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, strains, and sprains. In this article, we are going to focus on strains and sprains.


Strains and sprains are injuries that occur when a joint is twisted unnaturally. Intense physical activity results in the injury of the ligaments and the tendons at the joint; ligaments are the tissues that connect bones while tendons are the tissues that connect bones to muscles.

The good thing is that the pain caused by most strains and sprains subsides with time. The pain usually ranges from mildly irritating to extreme and may go on for a few weeks or a couple of months. Acute strains and sprains only require rest, massage and strapping. On the other hand, if there is serious swelling, this could indicate a more serious underlying issue and it would be best to seek professional help.

What Are The Causes?

Usually, sprains occur when a joint is twisted while bearing some weight. This causes the ligament to get stretched. Sprains often affect the ankles, knees, and wrists. The damage caused may either be mild or severe. In severe cases, the ligament may rupture resulting in tissue damage.

Strains are caused when too much force is applied to a muscle. Strains are usually as a result of overworking beyond your physical ability or repetitive use of the muscles. The damage caused by these injuries also ranges from mild to severe. Strains are also referred to as pulled muscles.

The Risk Factors

People who have a high risk of suffering from strains and sprains are those who:

  1. Have limited flexibility
  2. Have a current or prior injury
  • Engage in strenuous activities that are beyond their ability
  1. Don’t warm up properly before engaging in extreme physical exercise

What Are The Symptoms?

It is possible for a minor sprain to happen without you noticing but most are noticeable when they occur. The main signs that indicate that a sprain has occurred include pain in the affected area, swelling and inflammation, limited mobility, and bruising. You might even hear a popping sound during the time of injury.

The main symptoms indicating that a strain has occurred include pain that is followed by cramping, swelling, stiffness, soreness of the muscle, and muscle spasms. As with strains, you may be aware of the exact moment that the spraining took place. It’s also possible that they may happen without you noticing and you only notice the symptoms later.

Diagnosing Sprains and Strains

The physician examines the affected area and asks questions to determine the type of injury and the extent of the damage.

Whenever necessary, an x-ray may be taken to see whether or not there are any broken or chipped bones. Occasionally, an MRI scan may be required if the injury needs further examination.

Treating Sprains and Strains

The treatment of strains and joints is often directed toward the affected area.

Most types of injuries do not require for you to be admitted to the hospital. Usually, the doctor sends you home with an at-home treatment and a care plan. You are expected to follow the rest, ice, compression, and elevation treatment to reduce the pain.

If the area is swollen, you are required to use anti-inflammatory medications or get a cortisone injection to reduce the swelling. You may also need additional medications and creams for pain control and to facilitate healing.

In the event of a severe injury that results in chronic pain, gradual rehabilitation physical therapy may be recommended. In rare cases, surgery may be required to fix damaged cartilage or ligaments. In other cases, you may be required to wear a cast depending on the doctor’s recommendations.

Other forms of treatment for strains and sprains include chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and massage.


After the initial treatment, it is really important for you to have follow-up monitoring by your physician. During these follow-up visits, several tests are carried out to review the effects of the medications.

How Do I Prevent Strains and Sprains?

Both strains and sprains can really limit one’s physical movement until they heal completely. It’s important that you exercise caution when you engage in any form of physical activity.

Injuries can be prevented by using appropriate sports gear while you exercise and staying within your limits during the training. After your strain or sprain is healed, you should avoid further injuries by wearing a protective brace when you resume normal activity.

6 Principles of Functional Medicine That You Need to Know

Functional medicine is known to be an effective method when it comes to treating patients, especially the ones suffering from chronic health conditions. A few principles define this type of medicine. These include:

  • The approach is tailored to different individuals

Functional medicine does not work on the belief that one size fits all. The plan is applied to different patients individually. Just because say two patients have the same disease does not mean that a similar functional treatment would be sufficient for both of them.

For this reason and also because each patient has health circumstances that are unique, functional medicine shines to restore the health and function of the body of individuals.

  • Functional medicine is personalised

This system views all people as individuals even if they have a similar health condition. Okay, the disease might be the same but what has caused it? It could be because of different toxic and environmental exposures, different lifestyles and several underlying factors that may lead to poor health.

The system does not mainly major on the symptoms of a particular disease but primarily focuses on identifying the underlying causes of the symptoms. The whole individual is taken into account to determine a unique approach that would enable an individual to regain full body function.

  • It is based on science

Functional medicine is entirely steeped in science. The subject is fully explored when assessing aspects such as energy reserves, metabolic functions of the body hormone variations and the psychological health of an individual.

Science is used to show that a chronic health attack in the body is not just one malfunction, but rather a problem that has affected the functionality of other networks in the system.

  • The human body is a self-regulating system

You might be having the belief that your body is programmed to suffer from diseases and dysfunctions. Well, that is not the case. You see, your body is brilliant and can heal itself with the use of active edge Columbus chiropractors to address the imbalances in the body. Your body needs to be provided with what it needs for it to do its job.

  • It mainly focuses on the ‘why’ 

Standard systems of medication would concentrate on slowing down the symptoms of a disease and probably dealing with the damage that has been done to the body. On the other hand, functional medicine focuses its attention on finding the causes of the body imbalances that are brought about by the symptoms that you have instead of focusing on treating a certain symptom.

  • You are not limited to one option of treatment

Functional medicine employs the use of several advanced holistic and conventional methods of treatment to prevent diseases and to stop chronic conditions from advancing further. It is not a matter of you having to decide to go with only one option since functional medicine applies all its useful options to create a conducive environment in your body to enhance the healing process.