Your body contains many ligaments, which connect your bones and help keep them stable. When you have a sprain, this ligament is torn to some degree, and that stability can go out the window.
Sprains are extremely common, impacting the ankles of some 23,000 people in the United States each day. Knee sprains and wrist sprains are also common. Knowing when to seek medical care for a sprain can help you feel better faster while lowering your risk for long-term complications, such as chronic pain and further injury.
Interventional pain specialist Dr. William Yancey at Yancey Pain & Spine in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, diagnoses and treats sprains using evidence-based medicine, proven therapies, and the latest advances in pain care. Take a moment to find out whether it may be time for an exam.
Common sprain causes
Anyone can experience a sprain, but your risk is higher if you’re highly physically active, overweight and sedentary, or have tired or fatigued muscles. Sprains usually occur from a fall or sudden and irregular movement of a joint.
Ankle sprains typically occur when your foot turns inward while you run, pivot, or land on your ankle after jumping. Knee sprains can stem from sudden twisting or a blow to the knee. Wrist sprains often result from falling and catching yourself with an outstretched hand.
Sprain symptoms vary in intensity, from relatively mild to quite severe, depending on the injury. Regardless of the body part, sprains can cause:
- Difficulty moving or using the joint
- Joint instability
- Swelling and inflammation
When to see a doctor
Even minor sprains can be pretty painful, but in some cases, home care such as icing, elevating, and resting the joint and taking over-the-counter pain relievers are sufficient. If you have severe pain and swelling, an open wound, or a fever, seek immediate medical care.
For mild to moderate sprains, schedule an appointment at our office if you have swelling that doesn’t improve within 2-5 days of home care or pain that doesn’t improve within a few weeks. And when in doubt, it never hurts to call our office.
Dr. Yancey takes a multidisciplinary approach to joint conditions. He can diagnose and assess your sprain through a comprehensive exam, which may include imaging tests.
Then, depending on the specifics of your injury, he may recommend therapeutic injections, oral medications, and/or physical therapy. For a severe sprain, he might suggest surgery.
To learn more about joint injuries or get treatment for a sprain, call the Houston or The Woodlands, Texas, office of Yancey Pain & Spine or request an appointment with Dr. Yancey online. You can also send our team a message here on the website.