Fractures, Sprains, and Strains Treatment Questions and Answers
Lifetime Urgent Care provides fractures, sprains, and strains medical services in Flint, MI. If you live in the area or surrounding areas, then come right to us if you or someone you love needs quick care for a minor injury. For more information, please call us or simply walk-in!
Out of all of the systems in the human body, the musculoskeletal system is the most affected by physical injuries. This includes soft tissues like ligaments, cartilage, tendons and muscles, as well as hard tissues like bones. Common injuries that can affect this system include pulls, tears, and breaks, which can affect any area of the musculoskeletal system, from the neck to the knees and beyond. Everyone is likely to encounter several of these minor afflictions throughout their life, and sometimes they can be more serious. Thankfully, there are medical professionals who focus on treating fractures, sprains and strains and can help patients make a full and expeditious recovery.
How long does it take for sprains and strains to heal?
The length of time that it takes sprains and strains to heal depends on a number of factors, including: the severity of the injury; the area of the body affected; a history of previous strains and sprains; the type of treatment used; a patient’s individual physiology and; if other treatments have failed to provide relief. On average, it takes around one to two weeks for a minor strain or sprain to heal, between three to four weeks to heal a moderate sprain or strain, and three to six months for a more serious injury to heal. Severe injuries may require months of rehabilitative therapy to fully recover.
How do you treat strains?
For immediate self-care of a muscle strain, the R.I.C.E. approach is the first-line of treatment, which includes: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to reduce pain and inflammation, however, during the first 48 hours after a muscle strain, it is usually recommended to avoid using OTC painkillers that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. During this time period, acetaminophen can be helpful for pain relief.
Physical therapy may be prescribed to help maximize stability and strength of the injured joint or limb. A brace or splint may be used to immobilize the area. For serious injuries that do not respond to these forms of treatment, surgery may be considered, although this is typically only used as a last resort.
What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
A sprain involves the over-stretching or tearing of the ligaments, which are the fibrous connective tissues that connect bones to each other and stabilize them. They can occur in any joint, but most often affect the ankles. Symptoms include:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Hampered movement
A strain is the over-stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon, which are the taut fibrous bands of tissue that connect the muscles to the bones. Any muscle or tendon can be affected by a strain, although they most often occur in high-movement areas. Symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms
How are fractures diagnosed?
To diagnose a fracture, a healthcare provider will perform a physical examination on the injury. An imaging test may also be performed. These tests can include:
X-Rays — This well-known diagnostic tool creates a two-dimensional picture of the injured bone. Healthcare providers often turn to this imaging first.
Bone Scan — A bone scan may also be used to find fractures that do not show up or are hard to discern on an X-ray. This scan takes longer, but it can help detect more fractures than a standard x-ray.
CT Scan — To create detailed slices or cross-sections of the bone, a CT scan uses computers and X-rays.
MRI — An MRI creates highly detailed images using strong magnetic fields and is often used to diagnose stress fractures.
If you have sustained a strain, sprain or fracture, come to Lifetime Urgent Care for a higher level of care. Our kind and compassionate professionals can help address your unique needs using an individualized treatment plan that focuses on restoring your personal wellness. Our experience treating fractures, strains and sprains will help you recover faster, so you can return to doing what you love most. Call us today at (810) 339-8261 to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 2469 W. Hill Rd, Flint, MI 48507. Our office is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We serve patients from Flint MI, Rankin MI, Grand Blanc MI, Genesee County MI, Burton MI, Swartz Creek MI, Gaines MI, Fenton MI, Holly MI, Linden MI, and Atlas MI. Looking forward to serve you!