A woman holds her ankle after spraining it while running in Houston, TX


Sprain Injuries in Houston, TX

Injuries may not always result in broken bones, but that doesn’t mean you will feel comfortable. Sprains are a common result of trips, falls, and other accidents. They cause disruptive pain that impacts mobility and routine habits. When you experience a sprain, look to Village Emergency Centers in Houston, TX, and surrounding areas.

What Is a Sprain?

A sprain is a ligament injury. Sprains occur when the ligaments, which are tough tissue bands that connect the joints and bones, tear or stretch. This can derive from an abrupt twisting or rolling movement. Depending on the extent of the injury, a sprain can lead to varying degrees of pain, instability, and swelling.

Types of Sprain Injuries

Village Emergency Center classifies sprain injuries based on the severity and the affected joint. Common types of sprain injuries include:

  • Sprained ankle
  • Sprained wrist
  • Sprained knee
  • Sprained thumb

Sprain Signs & Symptoms

When you experience a sprain injury, it will likely come with a range of symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the sprain but commonly include:

  • Tenderness and pain
  • Swelling around the affected area
  • Limited range of motion
  • Instability or inability to bear weight
  • A tearing sensation
  • Bruising

The Difference Between a Sprain, Strain, & Fracture

Many people use sprains, strains, and fractures interchangeably. However, although these injuries each impact the musculoskeletal tissue, they are very different. Sprains affect the ligaments that connect bones to the joints. In contrast, strains are injuries to the tendons or muscles, and fractures refer to cracked or split bones.

Sprain Injuries vs Strains & Fractures

Sprains are caused by several situations that cause the ligaments to twist, roll, or otherwise move unnaturally. On the other hand, strain injuries usually occur when a tendon or muscle is overused or stretched beyond its capabilities. Fracture injuries are often more severe and involve repetitive stress or trauma to a bone. 

Sprain & Fracture Treatment

Despite their differences, sprain and fracture treatment is often quite similar. Initial treatment for musculoskeletal injuries traditionally involves RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, medication, physical therapy, and non-invasive pain management injections may also be recommended depending on the nature of the injury.

Understanding RICE

RICE is an effective sprain treatment. RICE involves the following:

  • Rest – Refrain from using the affected area and limit movement.
  • Ice – Apply ice or a cold compress to the affected area for 15 minutes every three hours for 48 hours following the injury.
  • Compression – Wrap the affected area with a bandage.
  • Elevation – Keep the affected area raised to decrease swelling.

The Recovery Time for Sprain Injuries

The recovery time for sprain, strain, and fracture injuries varies depending on the severity of the injury, your age, and other factors. On average, it takes three to eight weeks to regain mobility and function following a musculoskeletal injury. Some patients heal in as little as several days, while others require months of recovery.

Where Should I Go if I Have a Sprain?

Sprain injuries do not call for surgery. As such, seeking treatment at the emergency room can result in hours of waiting for minimal relief. For prompt medical care and personalized attention, it’s best to go directly to an emergency walk-in clinic, such as Village Emergency Centers in Houston, TX.

When Should I See a Doctor About a Sprain?

Navigating a sprained ankle, wrist, knee, or thumb is uncomfortable. However, prolonged pain or new symptoms merit a visit to Village Emergency Centers. Seek professional intervention if you experience one or more of the following:

  • Numbness or loss of sensation
  • Loss of mobility or inability to bear weight
  • Increasing discomfort

Get the Urgent Care You Need With Village Emergency Centers

Seek urgent care with our board-certified physicians at Village Emergency Centers. We are your source for a personalized approach to diagnosis, treatment, and expedited healing in Houston, TX, and surrounding areas. Contact us or stop by today. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


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