Home Bones, Joints and Muscles What is sprain: Causes, Symptoms and treatments

What is sprain: Causes, Symptoms and treatments

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

In the joints and connecting the bones, there are bands of very resistant fibrous tissue known as ligaments. It is precisely in the ligaments that what is commonly known as a sprain occurs when there is a stretch or tear. This happens after making sudden movements generating intense pain and local inflammation. The severity of a sprain is given according to the extent of the injury that has been developed. There are several ways to improve this injury, for example, an initial treatment that includes rest, ice, and compression. However, many factors can intervene in curing this condition and shorten the times. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will explain how long a sprain takes to heal?

What is a sprain, and what are its causes

A sprain is an injury to the ligaments responsible for joining two bones together and that form a joint. This is the most common trauma-related to daily activities and exercise. Ligaments are very resistant fibers. However, they can be affected after making sudden movements forcing them to their limit. They are the ankle sprain the most common to appear. However, it can happen in joints such as the wrist, knee, and fingers.

The causes related to sprain is making an unnatural movement due to a blow, twist, or fall :

  • Individually, an ankle sprain can happen related to exercising or walking on an uneven surface. Regarding injuries in basketball, ankle injury stands out as the one with the highest incidence, ranging from 13.2 to 25% [1].
  • The wrist sprain is related to the supporting hand during a fall.
  • The knee sprain can occur during physical activity turning.
  • The sprain of the fingers of the hand is widely related to the practice of sports such as skiing and tennis; this is due to the excessive stretching of the ligaments.

On the other hand, logically, the injury of the ligaments is related to:

  • Fatigue or muscle tiredness.
  • Lack of muscle conditioning.
  • Inadequate body warming.
  • Environmental conditions such as types of surfaces.
  • Inappropriate footwear.

Sprain symptoms

The symptoms of a sprain will depend on its location and severity. However, all of them occur with:

  • Pain.
  • Increase in volume or swelling.
  • Hematoma.
  • Limitation to mobilization.
  • Local heat.

Classification of sprains

Sprains are classified according to the severity and extent of the injury.

  • Grade I: or mild, it is produced by excessive stretching of the ligament, but there is no joint instability and no tear. This degree of sprain manifests itself with pain and mild inflammation of the area; there may be slight bruising. Generally, the common perform everyday movements.
  • Grade II: or moderate, there is partial or total rupture of the ligaments, it manifests with intense pain, joint movements cannot be performed usually, and the pain is severe, there is the presence of hematoma and swelling.
  • Grade III: severe; there is a total tear of the ligament. This can generate something called dislocation, where there is loss of joint continuity, intense pain, swelling, and significant hematoma; the patient cannot support himself. Sometimes surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the affected ligament.

How long does a sprain take to heal?

The healing time of a sprain will depend on its degree or severity and compliance with the treatment indicated by the traumatologist.

  • Grade I: Since it is the mildest grade of sprains, it takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks to heal.
  • Grade II: this is a moderate degree of injury; the healing time for sprains of this type ranges from approximately 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Grade III: finally, the most severe sprain may require up to 8 months to fully recover.

How to heal a knee sprain fast

To improve the healing time of sprains, it is necessary to comply with an action protocol that will allow recovery to be much more satisfactory in terms of symptom improvement and recovery time. It is then required to improve inflammation and pain initially. FERI therapy is recommended:

  • Cold: apply an ice pack for 20 minutes after the injury has occurred and repeat every 2 hours for the first 48 hours; the ice can be applied directly in a filled plastic bag or wrapped in a towel. It is not recommended to extend this time to avoid injury from frostbite and cold.
  • Elevation: the place of the sprain, wrist, knee, ankle, or fingers of the hand is recommended to elevate with a pillow above the heart level; this will improve the inflammatory process.
  • Rest: depending on the severity of the injury, it is recommended not to support the injured area for at least 48 hours. It is recommended to use a sling if the damage is to the wrist or fingers of the hand or to use a crutch in case of a knee or ankle sprain.
  • Immobilization: bandaging the affected area also improves local inflammation. If necessary, use a wrist strap or ankle brace; this usually avoids causing other injuries or worsens after performing the movements.

It is also important to use pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to improve related symptoms. In the following article, you can discover some home remedies for ankle sprain.

Other tips for good healing of sprains

In addition to the treatment already mentioned, you can follow the following tips to try to cut recovery times:

  • Massages: the practice of massages carried out by professionals will be completely useful to improve the healing time of sprains; these allow the injured ligaments to be stretched under control.
  • Exercises: in the case of ankle sprain, because it is the most common, it requires the performance of activities such as dorsiflexion, which is an exercise that allows the foot to be brought forward and backward to its maximum mobility. It is done for 10 or 15 seconds and is repeated two times. Finally, the band stretch increases the ankle’s strength; it is done by crossing the legs with an elastic band, trying to separate them.

Other exercise practices depend on the affected area, whether the knee, wrist or hand fingers, which the specialist will indicate to perform. The healing time will depend on the patient’s care, which is fundamental. In addition, after making any sudden movement of a joint, it is essential to be evaluated by the specialist.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How long does a sprain take to heal? We recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints and Muscles .

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