STRAINS:- CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, PREVENTION, GENERAL HOME CARE AND HOME REMEDIES OF STRAIN
A strain is an injury caused by overstretching a muscle. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments, tendons, or soft tissues around a joint. A fracture is a broken bone. A dislocation occurs when one end of a bone is pulled or pushed out of its normal position.
All four injuries cause pain and swelling. Unless a broken bone is obvious, it may be difficult to tell if an injury is a strain, sprain, fracture; or dislocation. Injuries may involve all four. Rapid swelling often indicates a more serious injury. If a bone is poking through the skin, or if a limb turns white, cold, or clammy below the injured area, immediate medical care is needed.
Most minor strains and sprains can be treated at home, but severe sprains, fractures, and dislocations need professional care. Apply home treatment while you wait to see your doctor.
A stress fracture is a weak spot or small crack in a bone caused by repeated overuse. Stress fractures in the small bones of the foot are common during intensive training for basketball, running, and other sports. The most common symptom is persistent pain at the site of the fracture. "The pain may improve during exercise but will be worse before and after activity. There may be no visible swelling.
Causes of Strains
A sprain is caused by a sudden or violent pull on the ligaments that support a joint. The most commonly sprained joint is the ankle. Ankle sprains usually occur as a result of a fall, which causes a person to turn over on the outside of his foot 'with his body weight exerted on the ankle and the joint wrenched beyond its normal range. Similarly, in the case of sprain a muscle or tendon is violently stretched during exercise, etc. and its fibres are torn.
Symptoms of Strains
Joints are surrounded and held together by fibrous tissues called ligaments. A sprain occurs as a result of violent stretching or twisting of the soft parts surrounding the joints. According to the degrees of the sprain, the fibrous part of the joint (ligaments) may be simply stretched, or they may be ruptured. Such injuries occur particularly in the joints of the foot, wrist, knee, etc., and may produce instant, severe pain, often attended with faintness, swelling and discoloration, with subsequent weakness and stiffness.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon has been pulled too far. This results in painful swelling, tenderness and bruising. The joint cannot be moved without causing additional pain. There may also be an involuntary contraction (spasm) of the surrounding muscles. A pulled muscle or tendon will be painful, swollen and tender Bleeding in the damaged area may cause a bruise to appear over the next few days.
Prevention of Strains
It may not always be possible to prevent accidents that cause sprains, strains, fractures, or dislocations. However, if you train properly for activities, try not to push too hard during activities, wear protective gear, and use equipment that is in good repair, you will improve your chances of avoiding serious injury.
Other tips for preventing accidents include the following:
Make sure you can always see where you are going.
Don't carry objects that are too heavy.
Use a step stool to reach objects that are above your held. Don't stand on chairs, countertops, or unstable objects.
Keep toddlers away from objects that may cause injuries if the child falls on them (coffee tables, stairs, and fireplaces).
Call the doctor
When there is deformity or instability of the joint.
When there is marked swelling or severe pain.
When it is impossible to straighten the joints.
When the injured part is cold, blue or numb, or if the limb beyond the injury can't be used.
If there is no improvement in the symptoms.
I f the pain is severe and continues longer than 48 hours.
I f swelling develops within 60 minutes of the injury
If the swelling does not improve after 48 hours of home treatment
If you notice following symptoms of nerve and blood vessel damage:
a. inability to move the limb normally because of pain
b. skin hat is pale, white, or blue, or feels colder than the skin on the limb is not hurt.
Home Remedies of Strains
The principle of RICE should be strictly followed
R - it stands for rest. Complete rest for 24-48 hours
I _ it stands for ice. Ice packs should be applied to the affected area for 20-30 minutes once in every 2 hours for 24-48 hours.
C _ Cold compress - Frequent cold compresses reduce bleeding and swelling by constricting the blood vessel.
E _ Elevation of the sprained area reduces swelling
Continuous use of cold compresses reduces the flow of blood and hence, delays healing. There (ore after 24-48 hours of ice cold
applications, hot applications to be employed on the affected area to restore blood circulation which will speed up the healing process.
Employ hot and cold baths frequently.
In case of bruises or abrasions, intake of foods rich in Vitamin C should be recommended to speed up the healing.
Cold pack applied to bruises and injured muscles immediately reduces pain.
Ice massage to the bruises and injured muscles are also helpful in relieving the pain.
Hot water application later on in the form of fomentations or affusions over the bruises and injured muscles after first 24 hours of ice massage are often beneficial.
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