Sprains and Strains Treatment Questions and Answers
Our doctors at Midlands Family Urgent Care provide comprehensive treatment for sprain or strain near you. We are open 7 days a week. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have 2 convenient locations to serve you in Omaha NE and Papillion NE.
Can Urgent Care treat sprains?
Urgent care centers are able to treat sprains on site. Sprains are the result of an injury to the ligaments that can happen when they are stretched, torn, or both. Sprains are common injuries that can happen while walking or lifting as well as from playing sports or exercising as they involve joints that are responsible for movement and locomotion. Minor sprains can be treated at home with a simple treatment plan of rest, ice, compression, and elevation to help reduce swelling and pain, as well as over-the-counter pain killers if needed. However, some sprains can be quite severe and require urgent medical attention. Doctors in urgent care are able to diagnose sprains in the extremities such as foot, ankle, hand, or wrist. Many urgent care centers have on-site x-ray labs which allow for a quick and easy diagnosis, as well as understand the severity of the sprain to know how to treat it. Urgent care doctors are also set up to set a cast if needed or apply a compression bandage and show the patient the best technique for wrapping. If the x-ray shows that there is in fact a fractured bone instead of, or in addition to, a sprain the doctor will either be able to cast the extremity or send you to an emergency room to have it properly set prior to casting it to ensure it heals properly. Sprains of the neck or back should always go straight to an emergency room as opposed to an urgent care clinic.
How can you tell the difference between a pulled muscle and a torn muscle?
The easiest way to tell the difference between a pulled muscle and a torn muscle is from the pain. A pulled muscle is actually a torn muscle but with tiny, microscopic tears. Pulled muscles will be painful when stretched or put under stress and will need to be treated with rest and ice for one to three weeks while the tears heal themselves. A torn muscle on the other hand will be extremely painful with swelling and bruising at the site, you may even be able to see a deformity in the muscle through the skin. With a torn muscle, it will be difficult or even impossible to fully contract the affected muscle. Rest and ice won’t work on a torn muscle, often they will require surgery and physical therapy for rehabilitation. In the case of a torn muscle, you will need to seek medical attention to have the injury properly diagnosed and get started on treatment. The doctor will be able to confirm if the muscle is indeed torn and walk you through your treatment options for optimal recovery.
How can you recognize a sprain or strain?
Sprains and strains can be very similar in their symptoms, making it hard to tell the difference from one type of injury to the other. Both will have limited flexibility and range of motion, inflammation, and pain at the site of the injured area and can range from mild to severe in terms of the extent of the injury. The difference however is in what exactly is injured. In a sprain, the injury is in the ligaments, which are the bands of tissue connecting bones together to make up a joint. Sprains are caused by the overstretching or tearing of these ligaments, mostly in the extremities of the body like the hands, feet, ankles, and wrists. Strains on the other hand are an overstretching or tearing of tendons or muscles. Tendons connect bones to muscles and are dense fibrous cords of tissue. The hamstring and lower back are the most common locations for people to experience muscle strain. With sprains, you will often find bruising around the affected joint, whereas with a strain you may find spasms in the affected muscle. Doctors may request an x-ray to diagnose a sprain or a strain in order to rule out any broken bones. Typically though, a sprain or strain is diagnosed through your symptoms and ruling out other scenarios for the symptoms.
For urgent treatment of sprain or strain, we welcome you to visit Midlands Family Urgent Care. We serve patients from Omaha NE, Papillion NE, La Vista NE, Fairview NE, Ralston NE, Bellevue NE, Springfield NE, and surrounding areas.