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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.