Most people who are active will experience a sprain at some point in their lives.

What is a sprain?

Most people who are active will experience a sprain at some point in their lives, and while they can take you off your feet for a time, full recovery is possible. Many people confuse sprains and strains, but they’re not the same thing. When a ligament is stretched or torn, that’s a sprain. When a muscle is stretching or tearing, that’s a strain.

It’s possible to sprain many different ligaments, with ankles and wrists being common. Sprains can be quite painful and prevent your child from doing the things they love. It’s important to recognize the symptoms so that proper treatment and healing can occur.

What are the symptoms of a sprain?

Since a sprain can happen in many areas of the body and its severity can vary, the symptoms will differ. Certain symptoms, though, are common and include:

·       Bruising

·       Pain

·       Swelling

·       Stiffness

It’s also likely that when the injury happens, you’ll hear or feel a pop at the site of the injury.

Because children often might not be able to put these symptoms into words it’s important to recognize when your child might be experiencing any of them so that you can seek proper treatment.

How is a sprain diagnosed?

Many sprains are relatively mild and don’t require medical care. These can be treated successfully at home. However, for more serious cases, proper diagnosis is important to rule out more serious injuries to the surrounding tissues and bone.

During the appointment, the Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care team will do a thorough physical exam of the injured area to check for pain, swelling, and/or bruising. They will also collect any relevant medical history like how the injury happened and if there have been any previous injuries to the same area.

Imaging tests like an X-ray might be necessary to check for further damage. Once a proper diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is created to help your child heal.

How are sprains treated?

Many simple sprains respond well to the tried-and-true formula or rest, ice, compression, and elevating the affected area (RICE). Some over-the-counter pain medications can be used to ease the pain.

Speak with Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care team to find out the best ways to manage your child’s pain. For more serious situations like tears, surgery is often necessary.

Don’t wait. Call or go online today to learn how you can help your child effectively treat their sprain, allowing them to return to the active and healthy lifestyle they enjoy.

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