Strains and Sprains

Aquatic Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy for Sprains & Strains

If you’re reading this, you’ve sprained your ankle. Or maybe strained? Regardless, the first step is commonly to follow the age-old RICE therapy method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for 24 to 28 hours.

Likely, you’ve taken an anti-inflammatory medication to help decrease pain and inflammation. But is there anything else you can do? Absolutely. Rehabilitation with the help of a physical therapist can help improve the injured area and restore its function.

Sprains and strains are different, but both can put an otherwise fit person on the couch with an ice pack and his ankle on a pillow.

A sprain is a stretch and/or a tear of a ligament – the band of fibrous tissue that connects bones at a joint. Severity of a sprain can depend on whether a tear is partial or complete and how many ligaments are involved. The most common body part to be sprained is the ankle.

A strain, meanwhile, is an injury to muscles or tendons – fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone. It might be a matter of overstretching, or the strain might be caused by a partial or complete tear of the ligament.

Generally, once the pain and swelling from a sprain or strain is reduced, you can begin gentle exercises.

A physical therapist can create an individualized program that will help prevent stiffness, improve range of motion and flexibility and build strength.

If you have a sprain or strain, it’s important to avoid re-injury. Sometimes people are tempted to resume full activity or play sports despite the pain. But doing so before an injury is fully healed can increase the chance of re-injury and may lead to a chronic problem.

Find a physical therapy clinic near you and make an appointment today to start moving again tomorrow.

Many of the physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription.    As part of your healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of your condition and create a plan to start you on the road to wellness.  Our team will communicate with your physician of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for your continued treatment.  We will also work with your insurance carrier to make sure services are covered by your plan.

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