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Approximately 25,000 people sprain their ankle each day, ranking it the most common form of sprain in the United States.

What is a sprain?

A sprain is an injury to the ligaments around a joint. What are ligaments? Ligaments are strong, flexible fibers that hold bones together. When a ligament is stretched beyond its capacity or it tears, the joint will become painful and start to swell with inflammation. When a ligament is severely damaged, the ligament or joint capsule can lose stability.

Sprains are classified on a scale of I to III:

Grade I – stretching of the ligament or a small tear, with little or no instability at the joint.

Grade II– more inconvenient and painful but still not complete tear.

Grade III– is a completely torn ligament that has been ripped open. This is not a broken bone, however, it can still be perceived as one since it is almost impossible to put weight on the joint or use the area.

What Causes Sprains?

Sprains commonly develop when a person falls, twists, or is hit in a way that pushes the joint or ligament out of its range of motion.

Wrist and thumb sprains are also very common, especially when patients participate in sports like skiing, where it’s not unusual to fall and land on an outstretched palm.

People who work with heavy machinery or are required to lift heavy objects are more susceptible to sprains in the workplace. This can include anyone from construction workers and laborers, to warehouse workers, nurses, and physical therapists.

Signs and Symptoms of Sprains

The signs and symptoms of general sprains can be difficult to pinpoint because strains and sprains are very similar to each other. Signs and symptoms may include pain and inflammation, and sometimes bruising in the injured region. Depending on the severity of the sprain or strain, the pain can be mild, moderate, or severe.

When the strain or sprain gets worse, it makes it harder to use that area. Someone with a mild ankle sprain might just transfer his or her weight to the other ankle, while a more severe ankle sprain can develop severe pain and make it virtually impossible to walk.

Although the amount of pain and swelling are typically the best signs for rating how severe a sprain or strain may be, sometimes signs and symptoms do not appear. Some injuries, like achilles tendon tears, can cause only mild pain in the beginning, but in fact, are very serious. If the pain does not start to disappear within 24-72 hours, you cannot put weight on it, or if your symptoms get worse, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Chiropractic Care can Ease Sprains/Strains

Chiropractic care, massage therapy and rehabilitation exercises are always recommended. Holistic therapies and treatments have been proven to stabilize your sprain/strain and get back your mobility more quickly and safer than drugs or surgery. If you are suffering from a sprain or strain, Caron Chiropractic Clinic can help; contact us at 651-255-9999.

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