Sprains or strain of the ankle, knee, or shoulder

Sprains or strain of the ankle, knee, or shoulder 150 150 Tony Guo

Sprains or strain of the ankle, knee, or shoulder

A sprain, in which ligaments are torn or stretched, is one of three most common types of injury. A strain results from a partial tear or overuse of muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments. Sometimes strains can result from sprains as well. Sprains and strains are often treated similarly and recovery time depends on the severity of damage and how much rest you get while injured. Your doctor may recommend some physical therapy to strengthen your muscles before you return to regular activity. If you’re experiencing pain with any sort of movement at all—even something as simple as walking—you should see a doctor right away because injuries like these can lead to permanent damage if they aren’t treated early on.

An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more of your ankle’s ligaments, while a knee strain (or pull) and shoulder strain involve injuries to your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and rotator cuff, respectively. Sprains, strains, and tears can cause excruciating pain that impedes your ability to move—and can even be a sign of a more serious injury. While you may have little choice but to wait for help at home when you’re experiencing acute back pain or other persistent conditions, sprains and strains are best treated with urgent care in order to relieve discomfort and hasten recovery. If you need emergency treatment for any of these symptoms, head straight for an ER.

Be sure to seek out treatment in a timely manner, as untreated sprains and strains can lead to severe damage and possibly even long-term health consequences. If you’re able to move or put weight on your ankle, knee, or shoulder (meaning it’s not too swollen or tender), then you might only need RICE—that is, rest, ice, compression/wrap and elevation. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also help reduce inflammation. To learn more about how to treat these injuries at home while they heal on their own, check out our complete guide to sprains and strains.

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