Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones in a joint. The stretching or tearing of these ligaments is known as a sprain.
Given that the ligaments are essential for support within a joint, it’s unsurprising that sprains can lead to joint pain. Generally, the risk of lingering joint pain is higher for more severe sprains.
Most commonly, sprains occur in the ankle joint due to “twisting” the ankle. Other reasons for sprains include falling or direct trauma to the joint during physical activity.
Symptoms of Sprains
Some of the common symptoms of a sprain are:
- Joint pain
- Inflammation (swelling)
- Joint stiffness
Risk Factors for Sprains
Sprains can happen to anyone and occur at all activity levels. There’s an increased risk for sprains in:
- Individuals who’ve had sprains in the past
- Individuals who don’t regularly exercise or are overweight
- Individuals exercising on irregular floors
- Individuals with muscle fatigue, which can de-stabilize the joint and cause sprains
How Long Does It Take Sprains To Heal?
The pain associated with sprains may take seven to ten days to resolve in mild cases. Moderate to severe sprains may take several weeks to fully heal.
Techniques that you can use at home to manage symptoms of a sprain include:
- Icing the joint to prevent inflammation. Do not place the ice pack on your skin without a cloth barrier.
- Keep the swollen joint raised above your chest when sitting or laying down.
- Firmly wrap the joint with a light bandage.
- Rest and avoid putting stress on the joint.
If you have a sprain that has escalated into chronic joint pain, regenerative treatments like stem cell therapy may help manage it. At Regenerative Orthopedic Institute, we specialize in regenerative therapy that can improve your quality of life and treat your lingering pain. Contact us to schedule a consultation!