Now that you’ve started your resolution of exercising more, chances have increased of suffering an injury—especially if you’re pushing yourself a little too hard. However, sprains and strains, even to the most experienced athletes, can be a little difficult to decipher. Here are some tips on how to tell the difference.

Know Your Injuries

Ankles, wrists and knees are susceptible to sprains, while strains tend to affect the back, legs and shoulders. A sprain and/or strain can occur at any time. However, most happen when you overuse a certain muscle and/or joint, fall, or twist/pull during an activity.

While pain and bruising are symptoms of both a sprain and a strain, there are also signs that can point you in a better direction of whether you’re suffering from a sprain or a strain.

For example, if you see swelling or experience a decrease in range of motion, you’re probably suffering from a sprain. However, if you’re experiencing muscle spasms, cramping or weakness along with pain, a strain may be the culprit.

When an injury occurs, immediately take action to reduce pain and bruising. Elevate the injury and apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t experience relief within a day or two, come see us for an evaluation and treatment plan.

Suffered a sprain, strain or even a broken bone? Visit AFC’s nearby urgent care center for medical assistance today to help prevent any further injury!