Patients of all ages come to our physical therapy clinic because of pain due to strains and sprains. Our experienced physical therapists proudly offer drug-free relief using safe, effective, customizable, evidence-based techniques. Call us if you’d like to learn how to become pain-free and get back to an active lifestyle without worrying about reinjury!
Understanding strain vs. sprain
Strains and sprains are soft tissue injuries that can lead to debilitating pain. A strain occurs in muscle or tendon tissue whereas a sprain occurs in ligamentous tissue. These injuries occur due to sudden or cumulative stress, which causes tearing and inflammation in muscle or ligament fibers. This may happen during an acute incident, such as a sports injury, car accident, lifting injury, or slip and fall. In other cases, the injury can develop gradually over the course of multiple weeks, months, or years.
Our physical therapy team commonly treats sprains and strains in the following areas:
- Cervical region
- Rotator cuff or biceps
- Lower back
- Quadriceps muscle and tendon.
- Patellar tendon.
- Knee ligament.
- Hamstring muscle and tendon.
- Achilles tendon.
- Ankle ligaments.
- Paraspinal muscles
Risk factors for muscle strains and ligament sprains
Regardless of the initial mechanism of injury, there is almost always a combination of underlying factors contributing to the injury. This is one of the main benefits of consulting with a physical therapist for your muscle strain or ligament sprain. Instead of simply managing your pain, we help you identify and address the contributing causes, so you can avoid reinjury.
Signs and symptoms of strains and sprains
Signs and symptoms of a strain or sprain will vary in intensity and onset, but generally include:
- Pain, usually described as dull or achy.
- Soreness, stiffness and tenderness over the affected tissue.
- Discoloration or bruising.
- Decreased range of motion.
If it’s an acute sprain or strain, most of these symptoms will come on suddenly. However, if an acute sprain or strain isn’t properly addressed with physical therapy, it may progress into a chronic, recurring issue!