Muscle strains can be a pain
Soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains are injuries that cause various degrees of pain and swelling. Commons signs and symptoms of strains and sprains include:
Pain, tenderness and limited movement. This is your body’s way of preventing you from further injury.
Swelling and inflammation.
There might also be some bleeding inside the tissue, which may reveal itself later as a bruise.
Strains – muscle or tendon
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is overstretched or torn. Strains are usually caused by putting stress on tight or weak muscles. For example, if you have not warmed up enough before explosive stop-start exercise or if your muscles become tired.
Sprains – ligament
A sprain is a tear in a ligament (a tough fibrous cord that connects a bone to another bone). Sprains are caused by the sudden, forceful twisting of a joint.
If a sprain is not allowed to heal properly, there is a good chance the same injury will recur.
Overuse injuries – or Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
In most cases the symptoms develop in an arm, wrist or hand, as these parts of the body most commonly do repetitive tasks. In recent years it is computer operators, typists, musicians and people doing repetitive tasks in factories who most commonly develop RSI.
People who do a lot of DIY around the house may develop RSI, or people who do certain sports which involve repetitive movements.
The symptoms tend to develop gradually. At first the symptoms may only occur whilst you do the repetitive task and ease off when you rest.
RSI symptoms in the affected area can include:
The main cause is frequent and repetitive movements of the same part of the body - for example, typing, using a computer mouse a lot, etc. Other factors may contribute, such as poor posture whilst doing the movement, using excessive force whilst doing the movement and not having enough breaks from the task.
Using R.I.C.E.R to treat strains and sprains
The main aim of treatment is to keep the inflammation and swelling to a minimum, and to be able to use the joint normally again. Most strain and sprain injuries respond well to first aid treatment which involves using R.I.C.E.R: rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral.
Whether you are dealing with chronic pain that has developed slowly over time or acute pain due to a recent injury, you want relief. Managing pain properly facilitates recovery, prevents additional health complications and improves your overall quality of life.