What is a sprain?

Physicians define a sprain as a stretching or tearing of the ligaments: bands of thick, fibrous tissue that connect the bones together through the joints. Ankles tend to have the highest risk of suffering a sprain.

The stabilization provided by Ligaments helps prevent movement beyond a standard range of motion. In most cases, ankle sprains tend to roll outwards, damaging the ligaments on the outer edge of the foot.

What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?

The main difference between a sprain and a strain: A sprain injures the tissue that connects the bones together, while a strain injures a muscle or the tissue that attaches muscle to bone. 

What are the symptoms of a sprain?

Pain, tenderness, limited motion, and weakness around the injured area. Sometimes the sprained area will swell and bruise. Some people may hear a pop in the joint at the time of injury.

Where can a sprain occur?

A sprain can occur anywhere in your body, however they most commonly occur in these areas:

  • ankle
  • knee
  • wrist
  • thumb

What causes a sprain?

A sprain occurs when you overextend or tear a ligament while severely stressing a joint. Sprains often occur in the following circumstances:

  • Ankle — Sprained ankles occur when the ankle forcefully twists or turns in an unnatural way. This unnatural movement can damage or stretch the ligaments in the ankle joint that help stabilize the foot. For example, walking or exercising on an uneven surface or landing awkwardly from a jump can result in an ankle sprain.
  • Knee — Pivoting during athletic activity.
  • Wrist — Landing on an outstretched hand during a fall.
  • Thumb — Skiing injury or overextension when playing racquet sports, such as tennis.

Children have areas of softer tissue, called growth plates, near the ends of their bones. The ligaments around a joint are often stronger than these growth plates, so children are more likely to experience a fracture than a sprain.

What is the treatment for a sprain?

RICE Method

The initial treatment for a sprain should include the RICE strategy:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Mild sprains will usually heal at home on their own when following this method, though severe sprains will sometimes require surgery in order to repair torn ligaments.

Severe sprains may require some physical therapy.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists diagnose and treat patients with medical problems or injuries that limit their ability to take part in their daily lives. Patients will usually see a physical therapist after a referral by their primary physician. Physical therapists work with patients who have experienced an injury or disease that has affected their movement and range of motion.

At Nextgen Pain & Injury Clinic, our team of licensed physical therapists and rehabilitation experts will focus on your total health and wellness. Regardless of the cause or source of your pain, we will develop a treatment plan with your unique issues in mind.

Our treatment philosophy emphasizes evidence-based manual and therapeutic exercise techniques that are tailored toward efficiently returning patients, athletes, and employees to their pre-injury status. We treat orthopedic and sports injuries and provide spinal rehabilitation, post-surgical rehabilitation, and industrial rehabilitation. Personalized physical therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions.

  • Chronic and acute medical problems
  • Knee pain
  • Back pain
  • Leg Pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Chronic medical problems
  • Neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries

Our mission is to help patients to return to work, improve their quality of life, reduce dependence on medication and healthcare providers, and avoid persistent injuries.

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Dallas, TX 75247

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801 Road to Six Flags West, Suite 146
Arlington, TX 76012

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