The body is meant to move. Muscles allow that movement to happen by contracting and making joints flex, extend and rotate. Muscles attach on each side of the joint to bone by thick bands of fibrous tissue called tendons. When a muscle contracts, it shortens and pulls on the tendon, which allows the joint to go through a range of motion.
A strain occurs when the muscle tendon unit is stretched or torn. The most common reason is the overuse and stretching of the muscle. The damage may occur in three areas:
- The muscle itself may tear.
- The area where the muscle and tendon blend can tear.
- The tendon may tear partially or completely (rupture).
Joints are stabilized by thick bands of tissue called ligaments which surround them. These ligaments allow the joint to move only in specific directions. Some joints move in multiple planes; therefore, they need more than one group of ligaments to hold the joint in proper alignment. The ligaments are anchored to bone on each side of the joint. If a ligament is stretched or torn, the injury is called a sprain.
Causes of Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains occur when the body is put under stress. In these situations, muscles and joints are forced to perform movements for which they are not prepared or designed to perform. An injury can occur from a single stressful incident, or it may gradually arise after many repetitions of a motion.
Signs and Symptoms of Sprains and Strains
The first symptom of a sprain or strain injury is pain. Other symptoms, such as swelling and spasm, can take time (from minutes to hours) to develop.
- Pain is always a symptom that indicates that there is something wrong with the body. It is the message to the brain that warns that a muscle or joint should be protected from further harm. In work, exercise, or sport, the pain may come on after a specific incident or it may gradually progress after many repetitions of a motion.
- Swelling almost always occurs with injury, but it may take from minutes to hours to be noticed. Any time fibers of a ligament, muscle, or tendon are damaged, some bleeding occurs. The bleeding (such as bruising on the surface of the skin) may take time to be noticed.
- Because of pain and swelling, the body starts to favor the injured part. This may cause the muscles that surround the injured area to go into spasm. Hard knots of muscle might be felt near the site of the injury.
- The combination of pain, swelling, and spasm causes the body to further protect the injured part, which results in difficulty with use. Limping is a good example of the body trying to protect an injured leg.
Young, Craig C. “Ankle Sprain.” Medscape.com. Dec. 16, 2014. <emedicine.medscape.com/article/1907229-overview>.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Preventing Sports Injuries
Many athletes largely depend on chiropractic care to enhance their physical performance. New research studies have determined that aside from maintaining overall health and wellness, chiropractic can also help prevent sports injuries. Chiropractic is an alternative treatment option utilized by athletes to improve their strength, mobility and flexibility. Spinal adjustments and manual manipulations performed by a chiropractor can also help correct spinal issues, speeding up an athlete’s recovery process to help them return-to-play as soon as possible.
.video-containerposition: relative; padding-bottom: 63%; padding-top: 35px; height: 0; overflow: hidden;.video-container iframeposition: absolute; top:0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none; max-width:100%!important;
The information herein on "Signs and Symptoms of Sprains and Strains" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card