"After year's of pain and discomfort I can now walk for miles with a smile on my face thanks to the great care and attention from Gillian Walker and her the team at the Court Clinic."
— MT, Dublin
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Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are soft tissue injuries commonly seen by us at the Court Clinic. They are injuries that occur when the body is put under physical stress. In these situations, muscles and joints are forced to perform movements for which they are not prepared or designed. They occur frequently in sport. Causes vary but they can be as a result of:
∙ Fall or tackle
∙ Tight muscles or muscle imbalance
∙ Lack of warm up
∙ Previous injury leaving an area weakened or with scar tissue.
∙ Muscle fatigue
∙ Incorrect biomechanics/footwear
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. A tendon is a strong band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. In muscle strain, muscle tissue or tendon is stretched or torn causing pain, swelling, muscle spasms, weakness, and difficulty moving the muscle. Strains can either happen suddenly or at other times develop over days or weeks after the initial injury.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament. A ligament is a strong fibrous tissue that connects a bone to another bone in a joint. It is important for stability of the joint. A ligament sprain occurs when the ligament is stretched or torn. It can cause pain, swelling and bruising. There may be difficulty moving the affected joint.
Severity of strain or sprain
Sprains and strains can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on whether there is only stretching of the involved structure or tearing.
In mild cases, there is stretching of the ligament, muscle or tendon but no structure has been torn.
Moderate injuries involve stretching and slight tearing of the structure involved. In severe injuries, the involved soft tissue structure is mostly or completely torn.
Fascial pain can take a long time to develop after the initial trauma has occurred and it can be quite difficult to pinpoint the centre of the pain. If left untreated wider and wider areas can become affected and the pain can become more generalised.
What to do
As soon as you can, do the R.I.C.E. procedure. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. It is important to remember that ice should never be put directly on the skin. Your ice pack should be wrapped in a damp towel and then placed on the area for 10 minutes.
Contact your physiotherapist who will assess the severity of the injury and advise you on management of the symptoms and will provide treatment as appropriate, guiding you back to full fitness and sport.