Understanding Sprains

A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough fibrous tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint and limits the joint's movement. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn. Most sprains happen in the ankle, knee, and wrist when these joints are twisted or turned too far.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sprains

The symptoms of a sprain generally include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty in moving the joint. It is also common to experience a “popping” sound when the injury occurs. If you experience any of these signs, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Treatment For Sprains

Most sprains can be treated with a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (also known as RICE). Your doctor may also suggest over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and swelling. More severe sprains may require physical therapy or immobilization. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to repair torn ligaments.

Preventing Sprains

The best way to prevent sprains is to stay physically active and practice safe lifting and exercising techniques. Below are some tips to help you safeguard yourself from a sprain:

  • Always warm up and stretch before exercising.
  • Be aware of your body’s limits and don’t overextend yourself.
  • Wear protective gear and support braces when engaging in high impact activities.
  • Maintain proper posture to reduce stress on joints.
  • Lift with your legs instead of your back.