Those who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident may suffer from a host of injuries, including broken bones and brain injuries. One of the most common injuries involve muscle strains and sprains.
It is critical that people understand what these injuries are so they can seek medical attention as soon as possible. Sprains and strains can have long-lasting effects on the body and on a person’s ability to engage in certain activities.
What is the difference between a sprain and strain?
Sprains involve the stretching or tearing of a ligament, or the tissue that connects bones at a joint. Strains, on the other hand, occur when the muscle or a tendon, the tissue that connects the muscle to bone, is torn or stretched.
Although the symptoms of a sprain and strain are similar, there are ways one can tell the difference. According to Healthline, common symptoms of sprains and strains include the following:
- Limited ability to flex
- Pain surrounding the affected joint
- Inflammation and swelling
- Inability to use a full range of motion on the affected joint
In addition, a strain may often involve muscle spasms, while a sprain may involve bruising around the affected area.
What are the treatments and long-term effects?
Mild injuries may be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. More severe injuries may require a surgical procedure to mend torn or ripped tendons, muscles or ligaments, according to the Mayo Clinic. Once the surgery is complete, patients often need physical therapy. Over time, patients may notice a fuller range of motion and less resistance when trying to use that muscle or joint. However, some tears may lead to life-long issues with flexibility and range of motion in the injured area.