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Strains, Sprains and Acupuncture

I treat so much musculoskeletal injury in my office that I thought a good tutorial regarding sprain vs. strain would be a good idea.  The two terms get thrown around a lot- by both patients and medical professionals!

SPRAIN: a stretch or tear of a ligament.

STRAIN: a defined as an injury to a muscle or tendon.

Sprains can result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of place, while a strain can happen from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. I see this all the time as an acupuncturist in San Diego.  Especially with all the hills and trails running through Normal Heights, North Park and Mission Hills!

But how do you tell the difference after the fact?

SPRAIN: includes pain, swelling, instability, bruising and loss of functional joint ability. Sometimes there is an audible pop when the injury occurs.

Grade I or mild sprain is generally caused by overstretching or the minor tearing of a ligament, but the person will still have joint stability.

Grade II or moderate sprain is more intense, but the person only experiences some loss of joint function.

Grade III or severe sprain occurs when there is a complete tear in the ligament and the person is unable to put any weight on the joint.

STRAINS:  pain, limited range of motion, muscle spasms and possibly muscle weakness. There may also be cramping, swelling and inflammation.

Instinctively, when a person experiences a sprain or a strain, learned first aid skills take over. Things like taking the pressure off the joint, raising the joint and applying ice to alleviate swelling and inflammation are all great places to start. Icing a sprain or strain is only good for the first 48 to 72 hours, as it will help decrease swelling. I see so many patients that have been icing WAY too long.  We really tend to over-ice here in this country but you don’t want to!  It can do lasting damage to tissue and interfere with the healing process.  Your body wants to send blood flow and immune response to the area of injury- let it.    

Acupuncture can help to send blood flow and nutrients to an area of injury once stiffness has set in. There are also specific acupressure points that reduce swelling, decrease inflammation and alleviate pain.

Depending upon how recent the injury was treatments could resolve the issue in as soon as 3 to 5 visits or could be longer if its an old injury.  Please call or email me if you would like to learn more.  My passion is getting my patients back in the game!

Book your with me today!

In Health,

Riley Smith LAc, DiplOM

Acupuncture in San Diego, Herbal Medicine in San Diego, Chinese Medicine in San Diego, Sports Injury in San Diego, Dry Needling in San Diego, Cupping in San Diego Estim TENS in San Diego

Serving: Normal Heights, North Park, Mission Hills, University Heights, South Park, Banker’s Hill, Little Italy, Downtown San Diego, Golden Hill, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, La Mesa, Mission Valley, National City, Otay Mesa, El Cajon, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, Carmel Valley, Encintias and all of San Diego County

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