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Sprains and Strains

Sprains & Strains Relief Doctor

Sprains and Strains

Strains and sprains are both prevalent injuries that affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body.

A strain refers to an injury to a muscle or tendon. It can be caused by overstretching or overexertion of the muscle or tendon. A sprain, on the other hand, is an injury to a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bones to each other. Similar to strains, sprains can range from mild to severe. Moreover, they are often the result of sudden twisting or stretching of the joint.

Both strains and sprains cause pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Another thing in common is the relatively long duration of recovery. Treatment for strains and sprains may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the affected area, as well as chiropractic care.

On this page, we will detail some common causes and symptoms of sprains and strains, as well as the role of spine clinics in helping you recover.

What are the causes of sprains and strains?

Sudden use of force

Strains and sprains are often caused by sudden or excessive force placed on a muscle, tendon, or ligament. This can happen during exercise and lifting heavy objects.

Repetitive overuse

Overusing the muscle or joint can lead to strains and sprains. This can happen with activities that involve repetitive motions, such as running or typing. Jobs that require frequent lifting or bending also increase the risk of these injuries.

Poor conditioning

Muscles and joints that are poorly conditioned are more prone to injury. This can be due to a lack of exercise and poor posture.

Improper technique

Using improper technique during physical activity or lifting can place excessive strain on the muscles and joints. Consequently, the risk of injury increases dramatically.

Falls or accidents

Falls can also lead to strains and sprains. For example, a fall can cause a sprain in the ankle or wrist or a strain in the back or neck.


Aging renders our muscles, tendons, and ligaments less flexible and more prone to injury.

Pre-existing conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, can increase the risk of strains and sprains.

How do you know if you have a sprain or strain

If you’ve injured a muscle, tendon, or ligament, it can be difficult to tell whether you have a strain or a sprain. The reason for this boils down to the common signs and symptoms that both conditions share. However, there are some key differences between the two types of injuries that can help you determine what you’re dealing with. It’s important to have a certified chiropractic sports physician check out your injury to make sure your diagnosis is correct!

Here are some common symptoms of strains and sprains:

Symptoms of a strain may include:

  • Pain and tenderness of muscle or tendon
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Recurrent fatigue

Symptoms of a sprain may include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling of the joint
  • A popping or snapping sensation at the time of injury
  • Instability or a feeling of “giving way” in the joint

If you’re not sure whether you have a strain or a sprain, it’s a good idea to see a sports chiropractor. Your practitioner can examine the affected area and use imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to help determine the extent of the injury and the best course of treatment.

What are the most common types of sprains and strains?

While all muscles and tendons may get injured, some tissues are more prevalent to injury due to anatomical location.

Here are the most common types of sprains and strains:

Ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most common types of sprains, with an estimated 25,000 new cases in the United States every year. These injuries develop when the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle get stretched or torn. Ankle sprains can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

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Wrist sprains

Wrist sprains also occur when the ligaments that connect the bones in the wrist get stretched or torn. People develop this condition after a fall on their wrists. This type of injury is common in sports that involve jumping or falling, such as gymnastics or skateboarding. Symptoms of a wrist sprain may include pain, swelling, and limited range of motion in the affected wrist.

Back strains

Back strains are particularly prevalent after lifting heavy objects in an incorrect way. As a result, the muscles or tendons get stretched out. You may suffer from severe pain, stiffness, and difficulty walking.

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Hamstring strains

This type of injury is common in sports such as soccer or track and field.

The role of spine clinics in the management of sprains and strains

There is some solid evidence that chiropractors could help patients with sprains and strains.

One study noted that a combination of chiropractic care and rehabilitation exercises improved the outcomes of patients with ankle sprains, reducing pain and increasing the range of motion. Additionally, a research paper found that chiropractic adjustments are effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with shoulder strains.

Furthermore, a systematic review concluded that spinal manipulation, a technique commonly used by chiropractors, may be effective in reducing pain and disability in patients with low back sprains and strains.

It is important to note that chiropractors will often work in conjunction with other healthcare providers and follow evidence-based practices.

Takeaway message

Sprains and strains are extremely common conditions that occur after injuries. Despite how benign these conditions may seem, neglected cases may lead to devastating consequences. This is why you need to seek the help of a certified chiropractor to prevent unnecessary complications.

Hopefully, this page managed to shed some light on the basic principles of sprains and strains.

If you have any specific questions about the sprains and strains or how a chiropractor can help, feel free to use our contact us page to get in touch! (insert a link).