Topic of Interest

sPrain vs sTrain

By: Dr. Mel Eggebrecht, DPT, CWT, CSST
sPorT plus physical therapy, LLC

Is it a sprain or is it a strain? A sprain is an injury to the ligaments or other tissue around a joint. A strain is an injury caused by overuse or overstretching of a muscle.

Both injuries cause pain and swelling. Whether it is a sprain or a strain the basic treatment principles are the same: RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to treat the acute pain or injury. Begin the RICE process immediately following injury.

If symptoms do not improve after 48 hours of home treatment you should call your physician.

It may not always be possible to prevent accidents that cause sprains or strains. Whether it’s a ‘P’ (sprain) or a ‘T’ (strain), PT (physical therapy) can help. A physical therapist with orthopedic training can: identify specific tissue problems, provide other therapies such as modalities (ultrasound, electrical stimulation), and develop a customized exercise program for your recovery.

For questions or concerns related to this article, please call Dr. Mel Eggebrecht, DPT at sPorT plus physical therapy, LLC (715)339-6140.