August 6, 2019
Ankle Pain - Break or Sprain

Sprains – What You Need to Know

Sprains occur when you tear or stretch a ligament. If the joint remains stable, you’ll be diagnosed with a mild sprain. The sprain is moderate if the ligament has a slight tear, creating instability in the joint. Severe sprains are diagnosed when the ligament tears and is no longer connected to the bone. This makes it impossible for the joint to function.

While sprains can occur in a variety of circumstances, it’s usually due to making an unnatural movement with the joint. For instance, if you twist your ankle, you can sprain it.

The symptoms you experience depend on the severity of the sprain. It’s likely that you will notice some swelling and bruising. You also might have trouble moving the joint and experience some pain. Many people are surprised to hear that sprains can actually hurt more than breaks do.

If you have a mild or moderate sprain, you can likely treat it at home using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). However, if the sprain is more serious or doesn’t heal with at-home care, a trip to the doctor is in order. Go to the doctor if you are in significant pain, cannot put any weight on the joint, or experience any numbness. Also, if you keep reinjuring the same joint, go to the doctor to find out why. You might need physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles to protect the joint.

Breaks – What You Need to Know

Breaks, or fractures, occur when a force causes the bone to break. You’ll be diagnosed with a fracture if you have a crack in your bone or a complete break. Breaks are common injuries in automobile and sporting accidents, but you can also break a bone if you trip and fall or even step on your foot the wrong way.

Pain and swelling are common symptoms of breaks, but you can experience the same symptoms if you have a sprain, making it difficult to diagnose without an X-ray. You might experience other symptoms as well.

Many people notice a deformation in the broken bone. For example, let’s say you break your foot. Your foot might look deformed where the bone has separated.

Nerve damage is also common in broken bones. When bones fracture, little pieces can detach from the bone and sever the nerves in the area. This can lead to numbness and make it difficult to move the body part.

The bone fragments can also cause changes in the skin tone. The bone fragments make it difficult for the blood to flow to the area, so the body part might look slightly blue or pale.

Because some people only experience pain and swelling with a break, it’s critical to go to the doctor for an X-ray if you think you might have broken a bone. Consider the trauma that caused the injury. Was it a mere twist on the soccer field or did you fall off a ladder? If you’ve experienced significant trauma, it is likely you have suffered a break.

Never try to recover from a broken bone on your own. Your doctor will treat you to ensure the bone heals properly so that you don’t have issues in the future.

Get Help With Your Injury

If you aren’t sure if you have a sprain or a break, your doctor can help. After the diagnosis, the doctor will create a customized treatment plan for your injury.

TAGS bone health , break , Injury , sprain