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Sprain/Strain

Joint Injury


A Sprain/Strain injury can occur at any joint in the body. A joint is an area of the body where two or more bones come together and create movement. Knees, Shoulders, Elbows, Ankles, and Wrists are major joints in the body but there are many more joints. Joints are stabilized (held together) by a series of muscles, ligaments and tendons as well as the joint capsule. A Sprain/Strain injury is when one or more of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joint capsule surrounding a joint are damaged.


Sprain/Strain

"Sprain" is the term used to identify an injury to the ligaments, tendons, or joint capsules around a joint. "Strain" is the term used to identify an injury to a muscle. Muscles, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules are composed of bundles of fibers (like a rope is composed of a bundle of fibers). When you sprain a ligament, tendon, or joint capsule or strain a muscle it means that a certain number of its fibers have been disrupted or torn. There are three grades of severity used to classify sprain/strain injuries. Grade I is minimal disruption to the fibers. Grade II is a moderate disruption. Grade III is a complete disruption (torn in half). Grade I and II are the most common.


Traumatic Sprain/Strain

Traumatic Sprain/Strain injuries can occur when joints do one or more of the following: 1. Move in a way that they are not supposed to. 2. Move in a forceful, violent, or uncontrolled way. 3. Move while under excessive loading.

What are a few possible causes of a Traumatic Sprain/Strain Injury?

  1. When your neck is thrown back and forth in an auto collision or while riding a roller coaster, it moves in a way it is not supposed to and it moves in an uncontrolled, violent way.
  2. When your knee hyper-extends while playing a sport, it is moving in a way it is not meant to move.
  3. When your knuckle is "jammed" by being hit by a basketball it is moving in a way that it is not supposed to move.
  4. When you bend over and pick up a heavy box, then stand up, your back is moving while under excessive loading.
  5. When you slip on the ice and fall on your backside your low back moves in a way it is not supposed to, while under excessive pressure.

Overuse/Repetitive Sprain/Strain

Overuse/Repetitive Sprain/Strain injuries can occur when a joint goes through a harmless movement over and over again or if it is held in a certain position for too long. The continuous movement or constant pressure can wear out the joint and cause tearing to the fibers of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or joint capsule. This is similar to a rope fraying over time. This type of Sprain/Strain is not usually as painful as a Traumatic Sprain/Strain but it is definitely painful and can cause pain that may take a long time to heal.

What are a few possible causes of an Overuse/Repetitive Sprain/Strain Injury?

  1. Sitting at the computer for hours with your head leaning forward and bent downward can injure your neck and upper back.
  2. Bending over the edge of the bathtub for a long time while you bathe your child can injure your low back.
  3. Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to the side all night long can injure your neck.
  4. Watching TV with your head turned for a long time (because your TV is not centered) can injure your neck.
  5. A baseball pitcher may injure his shoulder throwing 100 pitches during a game.




DISCLAIMER: The information that appears on TheInjuryDoctors.com is presented to our prospective Las Vegas, NV patients who may have sustained injuries related to trauma from car accidents or other sources. The information is presented in summary form only and is intended to provide general understanding of neck injury and back injury topics. The information should not be used in place of a visit, call or consultation with a qualified neck and back doctor with specific training and certification to treat neck and back injuries related to car accidents, falls, or genetic predispositions. TheInjuryDoctors.com does not recommend the self-management of neck and back pain or injury. Information obtained by using TheInjuryDoctors.com is not exhaustive and does not cover all possible risks, ailments, or physical conditions related to car accident injuries or other neck and back injuries. Contact this office to schedule a consultation.

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