455 Boulevard de la Gappe, Gatineau, J8T 0G1

Sprains and strains


The sprain

It is a disease that is characterized by an elongation or tearing of a muscle or tendon (fibrous tendon tissue connecting the muscle to the bone).

The strain

This disease affects the ligament (fibrous tendon tissue connecting the bones to the joints). It also results in the elongation or tearing of this tissue.

What are the telltale signs of a sprain?

  • The affected muscle or tendon swells and is sore from the sprain;
  • The sensation of pain increases in case of movement in the joint;
  • A sprain affecting a lower limb (ankle or knee) makes it difficult to move.

Factors of a sprain

There are many factors that can cause a sprain or strain. It is therefore necessary to clearly identify these factors in order to better anticipate them.

Causes of a sprain

Since the muscle or tendon can be affected by a sprain or strain, the causes of these ailments are easy to identify. This can be:

  • A fall;
  • A sudden movement at the joint (stretching for example);
  • An accident;
  • Repetitive gestures.

The main risk factors for a sprain

Each individual has suffered at least once in his life from a strain and/or sprain. However, it is clear that some people are predisposed to it. This is the case of:

  • Seniors: because of their advanced age, the elderly are more fragile both in terms of tendons and muscles. They lose their balance.
  • People who are obese or overweight: their bone structure is under more pressure, putting them at risk of injury.
  • Individuals in poor physical condition: due to a sedentary lifestyle or an inappropriate lifestyle, they are more likely to injure themselves, because their tissues do not withstand pressure.
  • Athletes: depending on the intensity of their training and the loads to be carried, athletes are more exposed to the risk of sprains and strains.

The stages of severity of a sprain

Stage 1: mild sprain

At this stage, the external lateral ligament is not ruptured, but just stretched at the level of a bundle. The patient can withstand pain and swelling and keeps his mobility at the ankle.

Stage 2: the medium sprain

If the external lateral ligament has a tear in one of its bundles, the other bundle is ruptured or stretched only partially. The patient suffers from severe pain in the ankle.

Stage 3: severe sprain

Both beams are totally broken. The sprain then manifests itself as a sharp and sudden pain that is sometimes accompanied by a loss of consciousness. The patient loses mobility in the ankle. The latter is swollen and has a bruise (accumulation of blood under the skin).

What treatments for a sprain or strain?

In the majority of cases, the strain and sprain do not require medical intervention. Their treatment can be carried out at home. As soon as the pain and swelling are reduced, the patient progresses to his relief, which means that the treatment works.

48 hours after the shock, it is recommended to apply a cold compress to the affected area. In this way, the swelling deflates and the pain is more tolerable.

As the days go by or after relief of inflammation, the muscle or tendon tolerates heat better. So you can apply a compress moistened with warm water on it. However, avoid boiling water that can expose you to burns.

Call on our physiotherapists!

Physio+ Hamel offers you the intervention of professionals to treat your sprains and strains. Our physiotherapists provide exercises, massages or calming treatments to relieve you. Thanks to their effective techniques, you can resume a normal daily life without suffering from your sprain or strain.

Need help?

Make an appointment online for a consultation to begin your health journey.