Strains & Sprains

Written by 

Strains & Sprains:

Description:

The symptoms of Sprains & Strains:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Loss of movement

 

Strain:

A strain occurs when the muscle fibres stretch or tear. They occur usually for one of two reasons:

  • When the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits.
  • When the muscle has been forced to contract (shorten) too quickly.
  • The most common types of strains are:
  • Hamstring - the muscles that runs down the back of the leg and are attached to the knee and the hip.
  • Gastrocnemius and soleus – medical names for the muscles in the calf.
  • Quadriceps – muscle located at the front of the thigh.
  • Lumbar –muscles found in the lower back .

 

Sprain:

A sprain occurs when one or more ligaments have been stretched, twisted or torn. (Ligaments are strong bands of tissue around joints that connect one bone to another and help top keep them together and stabilise them). The most common types of sprains to occur are:

  • The knee –when turning quickly during sports or other physical activities.
  • The ankle – if walking or running on an uneven surface.
  • The wrist – possibly when falling onto the hand.
  • The thumb –during intense and repetitive activity such as racquet games.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty in moving the injure limb

 

Treatment:

Treatment principle to follow R.I.C.E.

  • Rice: Rest the injury.
  • Ice: Apply an Ice pack ASAP. (Do not apply directly to the skin).
  • Compression: Apply a supporting bandage to the injured limb.
  • Elevation: Elevate the limb will reduce swelling.

 

The outlook for sprains is usually good and most people will be able to resume normal activity within 6-8 weeks

 

For muscle strains it depends on the location and the severity. For example a minor hamstring should resolve within about 3 weeks whereas a severe quadriceps strain may take several months.

 

CAUTION:

  • Do not constrict blood flow to the injures limb by applying the compression bandage to tightly.
  • If you have any doubt as to whether it's a strain or sprain you will need to eliminate a fracture by having an x-ray.
  • Ice should be placed/wrapped in a piece of cloth, place on or around the limb for 10 minutes , every 2hours, 24 max.

 

 

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.

 

You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about when to dial 999.

 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

 

Read 58439 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Clive Haddrell Cert Ed MSET

NHS Paramedic Tutor, NHS Ambulance Emergency Driving Tutor, FAETC 1&2, Cert/Ed, D32, D33. Manual Handling Tutor (RoSPA) and Member of the Society for Education and Training. I have over thirty years experience with the former Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and recently with Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust. My experience includes the role of paramedic tutor, rapid response motorcycle paramedic. For the last 25years paramedic advisor to the well-known BBC television program "Casualty".

More in this category: « Stroke Spinal Injuries »

First Response Resuscitation & First Aid Training Ltd

9 Counterpool Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 8DQ

 

Tel: 0117 949 0944

  

Registered Office:

86 Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 2DR

Company No. 06983048. Registered in England & Wales

 

Information Commissioner's Office (Data Protection Register): Registered Number Z1874 429

 

Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

Cookies Policy | Privacy Policy

 

© 2019 First Response. All rights reserved

Latest News

Dental specialist Dr Camilla George joins the team.

Dr Camilla George BDS, MFDS RCS (Eng), MSc (Dist), LLM, BSc (Hons) First Response are delighted to...

Read More ...

ATMIST and NEWS2 now live on website

Latest additions to Medical Training pages ATMIST and NEWS2 protools become the latest additions...

Read More ...

HPC reg logo CMYK    CPDcertified    CPDmember