Sprain / Strain

Sprain: Wrenching or twisting of a joint with partial rupture of its attaching ligaments.

Strain: Over-stretching a muscle.

Invariably, both conditions are trauma-induced. Of the two, the sprain is the more serious. There are three classifications of a sprain:

Grade 1: Mild/minimal sprain with no ligamentous tear. There may be pain, swelling and tenderness.

Grade 2: Moderate sprain with an incomplete or partial rupture of ligaments or tendons. There is marked pain, swelling, bruising, decreased range of motion, and minor instability of the joint.

Grade 3: Joint injury with complete tearing of the associated ligament. Presents as severe pain, swelling, hemorrhage, significant joint instability, and no range of motion.

Symptoms: History of trauma; pain; swelling; tenderness; bruising; decreased joint range of motion; degree of instability depends on grade.

Naturopathic Approach

A naturopathic approach to treating someone with a sprain or strain includes clinical nutrition and botanical medicine to decrease congestion, decrease inflammation and maximize optimal tissue healing. Heat or ice applications, gentle stretching and strengthening exercise and rest.