Strains, Sprains and Fractures

Bone and muscle conditions

A strain is an injury caused by over-extending or over-using a muscle. A sprain is an injury to a muscle, a tendon (tissue that connects muscle to bone), or a ligament (tissue that connects bone to bone). A fracture is a broken bone. Common causes of these injuries include falls, twisting injuries, sport injuries, acute over-exertion, and over-use (chronic over exertion). All cause pain and, usually, swelling.

Prevention

  • Stretch and warm-up before any vigorous activity to prevent sports injuries.
  • Do not over-exert yourself
  • Wear shoes that fit well and are designed for your activity.
  • Keep walkways and stairs free of clutter.

Treatment

Home care   Home Care

  • Elevate and ice the area to reduce pain and swelling early after the injury.
  • Avoid putting weight on the injury for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Take Tylenol® or Advil® for pain control.
  • Remove all rings and jewelry that may become constricted due to swelling.

Professional care   Professional Care

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • You have an obvious broken bone or severe pain
  • You are unable to support weight on the affected area
  • You have a joint that feels unstable or wobbles
  • You experience numbness or tingling
  • You are uncertain of the extent of the injury.