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Sprains and strains

The doctors on Heal can help diagnose and treat sprains and strains. Sprains and strains are common injuries resulting from activities such as sports, walking or running on an uneven surface, and slips and falls. They typically have similar symptoms but result from damage to different parts of the body.

A sprain occurs when a ligament (a band of tough, flexible connective tissue that connects two bones together at a joint) is stretched or torn.

A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon (an inelastic thread of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching muscle to bone) is stretched or torn.

Common symptoms of sprains and strains include:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Limited mobility in the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Spasms

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, treatment for sprains and strains typically follows the PRICE principle:

P – Protect the injured area
R – Restrict activity
I – Apply Ice
C – Apply compression in the form of a bandage or brace
E – Elevate the affected area

There are different degrees of sprains and strains, depending on the severity of the injury.

First-degree sprains and strains are typically more mild, resulting in mild pain and swelling and minor tearing of the ligament, muscle, or tendon.

Second-degree sprains and strains are moderate injuries, characterized by more damage to the tissues and slightly more intense pain and swelling.

Third-degree injuries are the most severe, often resulting in severe pain, limited or no mobility of the affected area, unstable joints, and severe damage up to complete rupture of the ligament, muscle, or tendon.

Because of the varying degrees of sprains and strains, it’s important to seek medical attention to prevent exacerbating your injury, and to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

A doctor can perform a thorough exam and assess the extent of your injury. Your doctor will then provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan, outlining next steps for treatment, including how to best help the injury heal and manage your pain.

If your doctor deems it necessary, he may write a referral for imaging or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. If a doctor determines you require imaging, Heal Patient Support will follow up to ensure that your imaging order is sent to an appropriate facility and to ensure you make an appointment.

If you suspect you have a sprain or strain, book a doctor house call with Heal and have a licensed primary care doctor come to your home on your schedule.

Please be advised that the doctors on Heal are unable to prescribe any medication that requires a triplicate prescription, including narcotics and anxiety medications.