Sprains & Strains

Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Care & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Scottsdale, AZ and servicing the greater Phoenix area
Sprains & Strains}

Sprains & Strains services offered in Scottsdale, AZ

Sprains and strains don’t always require medical care. However, severe strains and sprains may be a source of pain that affects your quality of life. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kavanaugh, MD, and the team at AZ Ortho in Scottsdale, Arizona, take an integrated approach to managing your condition. To learn more about your treatment options, call AZ Ortho or book an appointment online today.

What are sprains and strains?

Sprains and strains are types of injuries that affect the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. They can range from mild to severe. 

Mild sprain or strain

A mild strain means you’ve overstretched your muscle or tendon, while a mild sprain means you’ve stretched or torn a ligament. 

Severe sprain or strain

With a severe strain or sprain, you may have a partial or complete tear of the muscle, tendon, or ligament.

Muscles in the hands, legs, knees, and elbows are the most susceptible to injury, though muscle strains are also common back injuries. 

What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?

Strain and sprain symptoms vary and may depend on the severity of your condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tightness
  • Swelling or bruising
  • A decrease in range of motion
  • Muscle weakness

You may develop an acute injury after lifting something too heavy or if you play contact sports. Chronic muscle strains are common in people who engage in repetitive movements that overwork the same muscle group. 

Sprains commonly develop when you make awkward or poor movements that result in pain and instability. 

When do I need medical help for a sprain or strain?

Initial treatment for sprains and strains include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). If your injury is mild, you may be able to manage your sprain or strain with at-home care.

However, if your condition is severe and causes excruciating pain, then you should contact AZ Ortho to schedule an evaluation. You should also seek medical help for your strain or sprain if your symptoms include numbness or tingling.

During the exam, your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms, reviews your medical history, and conducts a thorough physical exam. To rule out other causes of your symptoms, they may also run diagnostic tests such as blood work, imaging tests, or nerve conduction studies. 

How are sprains and strains treated?

The team at AZ Ortho takes an integrated approach to care. Your provider may combine various therapies (conservative, minimally invasive, and surgical procedures) to alleviate your pain, heal your injury, and restore function.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • A home exercise program
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Orthopedic surgery

Your provider also recommends you avoid over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications that increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, during the first 48 hours of your injury.

To learn more about your treatment options for a sprain or strain, call AZ Ortho or book an appointment online today. 

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