Health Notes

Relief for the Strains and Sprains of Summer

by Katina Granger on June 12, 2017

From the softball and soccer fields of summer to a leisurely bike ride or run. Sometimes our favorite activities can be sidelined by injury.

“The biggest thing is to ice the wound right away,” said Dr. Gregory Precht, a family medicine provider at the Methodist Physicians Clinic at 192nd and W. Dodge Rd. “The joint is going to swell and that swelling is going to cause pain, so the quicker you can get ice on it the better.”

Wrapping the joint with an ace bandage and using anti-inflammatories such as Motrin and ibuprofen can also help reduce swelling, as can elevating the injury. Most general sprains and strains will be bothersome for a day or two, but then should gradually improve. If it’s not, that’s a sign it’s time to talk with your doctor.

“One important question is, ‘Can you walk on it,’” said Dr. Precht. “If you’re not able to put weight on it right away, generally that’s a sign that a doctor should take a closer look.”

You also want to see if your joint has a good range of motion. Sure, there may be limitation due to pain, but if you can’t move it in a certain way – it’s time to see the doctor.

Dr. Gregory Precht, Methodist Physicians Clinic 192/Dodge
Gregory Precht, MD

“If you’ve tried and really can’t move it past a certain degree, then that moves it up to being maybe a little more serious of an injury,” said Dr. Precht. “Also, if there’s any kind of deformity, a large amount of bruising, or pain that is getting worse rather than better, those could be more concerning.”

But if range of motion is good, recovering from injury can simply be a matter of time. In that time, it’s important to keep moving as you are able.

“We don’t want a frozen joint,” said Dr. Precht. “If it’s a more mild injury, you don’t want to be laid up for days or put it in a sling. Allow yourself a light amount of motion without any kind of heavy activity. Just take it easy on it. Movement is good.”

And when it comes to getting back to 100 percent, remember to ease towards your goal.

“The most important thing is just to take it easy getting back into the activities, rather than jumping in with both feet,” said Dr. Precht. “Build back up and start slow. What I generally tell people with a sprained ankle, for example, is if you can put weight on it and it just hurts a little, go ahead and put weight on it. If it really hurts, stop. Then if you can jog and jump and it hurts just a little, you can probably start doing that.”

If you have any questions or concerns about an injury, speak with your Methodist Physicians Clinic health care provider.

Katina Granger is a blogger and PR/Social Media Specialist for Methodist Health System.
Contact Katina at MethodistPR@nmhs.org.
Katina Granger

 

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