Muscle strains and sprains refer to injuries affecting the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Although common, muscle strains and sprains can be extremely painful and interfere with your day-to-day life. The dedicated team at TexomaCare Urgent Care is here to help prevent muscle strain, diagnose muscle strain symptoms, and provide muscle strain treatment.

Here’s what to know to get the most out of your care:

Q: Is there a difference between a sprain and a strain?

A: The terms “sprains” and “strains” are often used interchangeably to describe injuries to the joint area. While the two present and sound very similar, there is one key difference.

Strains refer to injuries within the muscular system. When a muscle strain occurs, the tendons or muscle tears or becomes overstretched. Tendons are the tissues that connect the muscles and joints.

In contrast, sprains refer to abnormal stretching or tearing of a ligament. Ligaments are the tissues that connect the bone and joint. The ligaments in the ankle, knee and wrist are the most prone to sprains.

Q: Are there different types of sprains?

A: Like many other injuries, sprains can be categorized based on their severity.

  • Mild sprains: Stretching of the ligament or tendon
  • Moderate sprains: A combination of stretching and tearing of the ligament
  • Severe sprains: Full tearing of the ligament

Q: What are the common symptoms of sprains and strains?

A: Sprains and strains present with very similar symptoms, which is why they can be so hard to differentiate. Common symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Limited flexibility
  • Limited range of motion
  • Redness/bruising

Q: Is there at-home first-aid for muscle sprains and strains?

A: Mild sprains and slight muscle sprains like twisted ankles or sore hamstring muscles can be treated with at-home care. The RICE method is a popular and effective way to promote healing:

  • Step 1: Rest: Try not to put weight or pressure on the area of your body that is hurting. Depending on the severity and location of your injury, your doctor may recommend not bearing weight for 24-48 hours.
  • Step 2: Ice: Ice is a simple yet effective tool in preventing pain and swelling. Try applying an ice pack for around fifteen minutes every two to three hours for 24-48 hours post-injury.
  • Step 3: Compression: Wrapping the injured area with an elastic medical bandage can help reduce swelling and keep the area relatively immobilized. Make sure to keep your bandage tight, but not too tight. Remove and rewrap your bandage immediately if you begin to feel numbness or tingling.
  • Step 4: Elevation: Elevating the affected body part above your heart helps promote blood flow. This will reduce pain and swelling. This step may seem difficult for the lower extremity, like foot and ankle injuries. However, everyday household items like pillows and blankets can help you prop your ankle sprain up. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications like Advil® or Tylenol® can also help.

Q: Are urgent care centers a good option for sprains and strains treatment?

A: Most sprains and strains resolve with time and do not require any prescribed pain medication. Occasionally other treatments including physical therapy (with strengthening exercises) and surgery may be required. An urgent care clinic can help diagnose your injury, rule out any breaks or more severe tears, provide immediate pain relief, and create a treatment plan.

The team at TexomaCare Urgent Care can also give you instructions on how to take care of your injury so that you can get back to doing your everyday activities quickly. They may also give you a passive range of motion exercises to increase mobility.

Contact Us Now

TexomaCare Urgent Care, located in Denison, Texas, and Durant, Oklahoma, is open seven days a week. We offer convenient daytime and evening hours for patients. Our team of medical professionals is here to help provide patients with urgent care for sprains and strains.