Sprains – Symptoms, causes & risk factors

Home remedies for sprains

We know that the sprain is a tearing or stretching of ligaments which are tough bands of fibrous tissue which connect two bones together in your joints. It is known that the ankle is the most common location for a sprain [1]. The first treatment includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. It is known that the mild sprains can be successfully treated at home. In some cases, the severe sprains may need surgery to repair torn ligaments. The difference which is between a sprain and a strain is that a sprain injures the bands of tissue which connect two bones together while a strain involves injury to a muscle or to the band of tissue which attaches a muscle to a bone.

It is known that the regular stretching and strengthening exercises for your sport, fitness or work activity, as part of an overall physical conditioning program can help to minimize the risk of your sprains. You should try to be in shape to play your sport. You should remember that you do not play sport to get in shape. If you have a physically demanding occupation, then the regular conditioning can help to prevent injuries. If you want to protect your joints in the long – term you should do it by working to strengthen and condition the muscles around the joint which has been injured. You should give your own “muscle brace” because this is the best brace which you can give yourself. You should ask your doctor about appropriate conditioning and stability exercises. Also, you should use footwear which offers support and protection.

Symptoms of Sprain

Sprains - Symptoms, causes & risk factors

The signs and symptoms will vary which will depend on the severity of the injury and it can include

  • You can feel hearing or feeling a “pop” in your joint at the time of injury
  • Limited ability to move the affected joint
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pain

If you have mild sprains, then you can treat it at home. It is known that injuries which cause sprains can also cause serious injuries, such as fractures. If you cannot move or bear weight on the affected joint, then you should talk with your doctor. If you have pain directly over the bones of an injured joint, then you should talk with your doctor. If you have numbness in any part of the injured area, then you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will make physical exam and he or she will check for swelling and points of tenderness in your affected limb.

The intensity of your pain and the location can help to determine the extent and nature of the damage. X – ray can help to rule out a fracture or other bone injury as the source of the protein. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can be also used to help diagnose the extent of the injury. You should describe all symptoms that you have and tell to your doctor. If you took some medications or home remedies for sprains, then tell your doctor so he or she can help you better with diagnose and the recommended dosage for your recovery process.

Causes of sprain

The sprain happens when you overextend or tear a ligament while severely stressing a joint. Sprains which often happen in the following circumstances:

  • Thumb – when you are skiing or when you have overextension when playing racquet sports, such as tennis. [2]
  • Wrist – when you are landing on an outstretched hand during a fall.
  • Knee – when you are pivoting during an athletic activity. [3]
  • Ankle – when you are walking or exercising on an uneven surface which is landing awkwardly from a jump. [4,5]

It is known that children have areas of softer tissue, called growth plates that are located near the end of their bones. The ligaments which are around a joint are often stronger than these growth plates so children are more likely to experience a fracture than is a sprain.

Sprain Risk factors

There are some factors which can increase your risk of sprains, such as

  • Poor equipment: If you have ill – fitting or poorly maintained footwear or other sporting equipment, then it can contribute to risk of a sprain.
  • Environmental conditions: Uneven or slippery surfaces can make you more prone to injury. [6]
  • Fatigue: It is known that tired muscles are less likely to provide good support for your joints. [7]


[1] Young CC. Ankle sprain. Medscape. 2019. Retrieved from emedicine.medscape.com/article/1907229-overview

[2] Bylak J, Hutchinson MR. Common sports injuries in young tennis players. Sports Medicine. 1998;26(2):119-32. doi:10.2165/00007256-199826020-00005

[3] Gray AM, Buford WL. Incidence of patients with knee strain and sprain occurring at sports or recreation venues and presenting to United States emergency departments.Journal of Athletic Training. 2015;50(11):1190–8. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-50.11.06

[4] Chinn L, Hertel J. Rehabilitation of ankle and foot injuries in athletes. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2010;29(1):157–67. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2009.09.006

[5] Sahin T, Batin S. A descriptive study of orthopaedic injuries due to parachute jumping in soldiers. BMC Emergency Medicine. 2020;20.

[6] Rosen T, Mack KA, Noonan RK. Slipping and tripping: fall injuries in adults associated with rugs and carpets. Journal of Injury and Violence Research. 2013;5(1):61–9. doi:10.5249/jivr.v5i1.177

[7] Webster CA, Nussbaum MA. Localized ankle fatigue development and fatigue perception in adults with or without chronic ankle instability. Journal of Athletic Training. 2016;51(6):491–7. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.9.02


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