Sprains Evaluated & Treated in Laredo, TX
Sprains are common injuries that occur when a ligament—a strong band of fibrous tissue that connects the bones in a joint—is overstretched, sometimes to the point of tearing. Usually a result of excessive twisting, sprains often affect the ligaments in the ankles and knees. This can happen while playing sports or even during daily activities, such as stepping on an uneven surface.
Sprains often cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and bruising. Because the symptoms of sprains and fractures (which are more serious injuries) are very similar, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two on your own. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention right away, especially if you cannot put any weight on the affected joint. In the Laredo, Texas, area, you can come to VitalMed Urgent Care. We are open every day during extended hours.
How Are Sprains Evaluated & Treated?
We will begin by asking you to describe your symptoms and the circumstances of your injury. Next, we will perform a physical examination to check for swelling and tenderness. We may also order an imaging test such as an X-ray, which can be performed on site, to rule out a fracture or other bone injury.
If we confirm that your injury is a sprain, we may suggest traditional “PRICE” therapy, which involves:
- Protecting the injured ligament by wearing a supportive brace
- Resting to minimize stress on the affected joint
- Icing the painful area to reduce swelling
- Compressing the injury with an elastic bandage
- Elevating the injured area of the body above heart level
Additionally, we may suggest an over-the-counter pain reliever or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to further reduce the pain and swelling, if needed.
How Long Do Sprains Take to Heal?
In general, mild sprains improve within a week to 10 days, while more severe sprains can take up to several weeks to fully heal. Once healing is complete, it is important to return to physical activities gradually in order to minimize the risk of further injuries. A physical therapist can help by recommending an exercise program designed to restore range of motion, strength, and balance.
At VitalMed Urgent Care in Laredo, TX, you can have your injury promptly evaluated and receive appropriate treatment, if necessary. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive urgent care services, including treatment for sprains.