Sports Injuries: What to do About a Sprain or Strain

Summer sports are back in season, and run-of-the-mill sports injuries like strains and sprains are back, too. Strains and sprains in areas like arms, elbows, and ankles are extremely common in athletes and can occur even during more casual summer activities.

Dr. Bruce Prager and the sports medicine experts at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington can diagnose your strains and sprains and recommend a treatment plan that will get you back to your sport as soon as possible. 

Here’s what Dr. Prager wants his new and existing patients of all ages from the Arlington, Texas, area to know about strains, sprains, and how to handle sports injuries this summer.

Causes of sprains and strains

When your body is active, moving fast, and handling big changes in momentum, your chances of injury go up. Sprains and strains are some of the most common sports injuries. Sprains and strains can occur due to a single wrong landing or tennis serve or from repetitive stresses adding up over time.

It’s easy to strain a muscle or joint when you’re pushing your body for peak performance, especially if you’re still working on getting into condition. You can sprain an ankle or elbow any time when you change direction rapidly. The ligaments that hold these joints together can stretch or even tear, causing pain and damaging your joint effectiveness.

First aid for strains and sprains

Mild strains and sprains may be able to heal on their own with basic first aid care. Severe sprains need medical care and can cause long-term joint instability without the right treatment.

Get sports-related strains and sprains looked at by the professionals at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington to be sure of making the right decision for your body and your career.

If you feel pain due to a suspected strain or sprain, use the RICE protocol for effective first aid. The acronym stands for “rest, ice, compression, and elevation.”

Take the pressure off the affected joint or limb and continue to rest it while symptoms persist. Treat the affected area with icing therapy and compression wrapping. And, while you’re healing, keep the affected limb elevated above your heart as much as possible.

Long-term treatment for your sports injuries

Without professional diagnosis and care, your long-term strength and fitness could be compromised. Areas that have recovered from a sprain may be more prone to reinjury, and subsequent injuries to the same joint can become progressively more serious.

Dr. Prager has provided care to NFL teams and high school teams and can help you limit the impact of a sports injury on your career and fitness. He can diagnose your condition with a comprehensive physical examination, review of your symptoms and medical history, and diagnostic tools like X-rays and ultrasounds.

In addition to first aid treatments like RICE and over-the-counter medications for pain relief, Dr. Prager may recommend cortisone injections or injections with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to speed the healing process. Targeted physical therapy and specialized orthotics can also be helpful for athletes looking to stay in condition. In severe cases, you may need orthopedic surgery to repair your injury fully.

For knowledgeable, sports-oriented treatment for strains and sprains, get in touch with Dr. Prager and the team at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington now. Schedule your appointment online, or call today.

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