Understanding Sprains and Strains -- Symptoms
What Are the Symptoms of Sprains and Strains?
Sprains affect your joints. Strains affect your muscles. Both usually occur after a fall or sudden movement that violently pulls or twists a part of your body. Chronic overuse of muscles or joints can also cause strains and sprains.
Symptoms of a sprain:
Pain in the affected joint
Rapid swelling of a joint, often accompanied by bruising
Stiffness and difficulty moving a joint
Increase in skin temperature near the swelling, and redness of the skin
Symptoms of a
Sharp pain at the site of an injury
Inability to fully bear weight on one's knee or ankle
Limited range of motion of the shoulder, elbow, or wrist
Call Your Doctor About a Strain or Sprain If:
The pain, swelling, or stiffness does not improve in two to three days
You feel a popping sensation when you move a sprained joint; this may indicate a serious injury that requires immediate medical treatment.
You can't move or bear weight on an injured joint; you may have a broken bone.
The bones in an injured joint don't seem to be aligned properly; the ligaments that hold the joint together may be badly torn, requiring surgical repair.
An injured muscle doesn't move at all; the muscle may be torn completely through and require immediate medical attention.
You have repeated sprains or strains, indicating a chronic weakness that should be evaluated by a doctor
You have difficulty moving or walking after straining any back muscle
You have a fever, and the injured area is red and hot; you may have an infection.