Elongation of a tissue (i.e. muscle/ligament/tendon/joint capsule) past is normal physiological range of motion that may result in complete tissue tear or lead to microtrauma within the tissue.
Symptoms– Signs and symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the injury. These may include: pain, swelling, bruising, limited range of motion/weight bearing, and/or hearing or feeling a “pop” at the affected joint.
Risk factors– Fatigue/ lack of muscular coordination, poor equipment and environmental conditions are the most common risk factors influencing these types of injuries.
Prevention– Sport specific exercises, increasing joint proprioception, stability training and general conditioning can help mitigate the risk of these types of injury.
Treatment Options– The treatment offered may vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. Photobiomodulation/ laser therapy can help increase the rate of tissue repair and can help minimize the persistent effects of scar tissue accumulation maximise the potential of long term beneficial outcomes. Chiropractic care and acupuncture may also be implemented to minimize barriers to recovery such as surrounding tight and problematic musculature/ other tissues.
For immediate self-care of a sprain, try the R.I.C.E. approach — rest, ice, compression, elevation.
What’s next?– Individuals tend to heal well from these types of injuries but localized instability can persist many months following injury. Continued specific rehabilitation protocols can help decrease the risk of re-injury, as well as, continued maintenance care can also minimize the risk of barriers to recovery (e.g. limited range of motion at surrounding joints/ altered gait following injury).