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SPRAIN

What is Sprain and What are its Causes?
The term sprain has been derived from the French espraindre, which means to wring. Basically the sprain can be defined as an injury which occurs to ligaments. This is caused by the muscles being stretched beyond their normal capacity and there are also risks of them getting torn. It has been seen that muscular tears caused in the same manner are known as strains. There are instances where a muscle tissue is torn and thus immobilization and surgical repair may be required. The main causes of sprain are physical activities that stretch the muscles beyond their capacity and hence strenuous exercises, sudden and jerky movements, lifting of heavy weights and other similar reasons which lead to this problem.

The Symptoms of Sprain:
It has been seen that some signs and symptoms are used for assessing the severity of a sprain but the most definitive method in this regard is the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, also known as MRI. The symptoms of pain are different and hence a mild second-degree sprained ankle could rotate inwards but not outwards. The most common signs and symptoms associated with them are the cardinal signs. The inflammation of a particular muscle or body part, pain that is localized and swelling is the most common symptoms of pain. The loss of function and inability to perform normal limb functions along with decrease in elasticity of ligament are the most common symptoms of pain.

 

Different Degrees of Pain:
Basically the sprains are graded in five degrees and these vary upon the intensity of damage to the muscle. In the first degree sprain there is only a minor tear or stretch of a ligament. However in the second degree the tear of a ligament is usually followed by pain or swelling while in the third there is a complete rupture. In the fourth degree the ligament breaks along with some small bones, depending on the injuries. And in the fifth degree there are tears in all the ligaments and surrounding bones also break. Usually the only solution here is amputation and surgery does not help.

Treatments for Sprain:
Some of the best treatments for sprain can be availed at the Lilavati hospital in Mumbai and AIIMS New Delhi. The four fold method of ‘RICE’ is used here which is the acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Here the sprain should be rested and the patient should ensure that no additional force is applied on site of the sprain. Immediate application of ice on the affected area would help to minimize swelling and ease pain. Dressings and bandages help in compression and maintaining the balance of the joints. Apart from this keeping the sprained joint elevated and above the heart level would help to minimize swelling. These methods can be done at home also but professional advice should be sought if there is intense swelling or inflammation of the region as the chances of fractures are very high with sprains.

 
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