How Do We Treat Them? Why Do They Happen?

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Depending on the severity of the sprain, it is very important to rest and not to force the joint so that it does not suffer and to achieve a full recovery

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The ligament sprains or strains are more frequent than we think. They can affect not only on athletes but to any domestic accidents that cause sprains. In this article, we will tell you why they happen and how to prepare you if you suffer from sprains.

What Do You Have To Know About Sprains?

  • It is an injury of the ligaments for various reasons: twisting, stretching or distension. Sprains are accompanied by inflammation, pain, and bruising that prevent us from proper movement. It can originate from a fall or blow or by a sudden or excessive movement. You need to know the difference between twist, dislocation, and tearing.
  • The dislocation is the most severe injury because it involves a separation of the bones.
  • In the case of tearing, the muscle tissue is engaged.

The number of days of recovery from dislocation can vary according to the severity or recurrence of the injury. The most common areas of sprains are:

  • the ankles
  • the elbows,
  • the wrists,
  • the thumbs,
  • the neck,
  • the knees,
  • the shoulders.

According to the activity we do, we can suffer a sprain in a particular place, but in almost all cases (not including the sports cases) it is due to a wrong move or a domestic accident.

There are three grades of sprains:

First grade

  • It is a partial relaxation, does not include ligament ruptures and very small movements can be performed. The recovery is complete and there are no consequences.

Second grade

  • The ligaments are torn partially or totally, the movements are abnormal and the pain is severe. The recovery can be achieved in full if the person makes the corresponding rest.
  • In some cases mild sequelae’s remain.

Third grade

  • The ligament rupture is complete and there are bony avulsions. Surgical treatment is needed to repair the damage and consequences are almost always present, from moderate to severe (stiffness, weakness, and pain, for example).

Treatment And Rehabilitation At The Phases Of The Sprains

This treatment and rehabilitation apply for grades 1 and 2 because 3 require immediate medical attention. Hardly ever all you need is just to sit in a chair or lie on the couch to sprain the joint.

  • Rest is very important, always with the limb elevated to drain the edema so the area does not become inflamed.
  • On the other hand, ice is recommended because it decreases the swelling and the pain. It also helps to reduce the recovery process. Wrap up ice cubes in a clean, dry cloth and apply it to the affected area until they are melted. Repeat this every three hours during the first 3 days.
  • Depending on the degree of the strain limb, immobilization is required. For example, you can use bandages, splints or plaster. During this time you are also advised to avoid consuming some anti-inflammatory medicals, mostly at bedtime. At night you should elevate the area as high as possible (with cushions for example). Rehabilitation phases of the sprains for the first and the second grade are three:

Phase 1 (72 hours)

  • It requires absolute rest with the limbs as high as possible, icing and placing a bandage.

Phase 2 (between the 4th and the 7th day)

  • The rest is relative and, if necessary, crutches can be used to support when walking. It is important not to force the joints when trying to make any kind of activity or movement.
  • Many people apply an elastic bandage which is available in pharmacies.

Phase 3 (from the second week)

  • At this phase you should use compression bandages, so the swelling can disappear completely and hurt less and less. Strengthening exercises can bring you to a greater mobility and the discomfort will disappear.

Rehabilitation exercises of ankle sprains

  • We will talk about this kind of twist because it is the most common. Some of these exercises can be performed in case of sprains in other extremities (wrists, knees or shoulders).

Stretch band

  • It is performed by lying on its side on a mat and with legs stretched. An elastic band is placed between your ankles and stretches the one above (the injured one) as much as possible. Other versions are without the seated or standing exercises, depending on the capabilities of each person.

Joint mobility

  • Once the inflammation has subsided and the pain is not that strong, you must move the joint in all directions and in circles. A good exercise is to draw air in different ways to strengthen the area well.


  • Lie on a flat surface with your feet flat on the floor, elevate the ankle repeatedly. It is very useful because it allows you to walk again.

Exercises with ball

  • It can be one special ball or a tennis ball. The ball of the foot rests on the ground and it exerts some pressure to move from side to side. It can also be done by seating. The movements are always circular.


  • Stand up with your legs together. Lower your back as much as possible, trying to reach the feet or the heels. Open your legs a bit (shoulder width) and do the same. Repeat increasingly by opening the legs.




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