Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcasts. I perform these podcasts in the hopes that you will be able to education yourself on the topics discussed so you can make better informed medical decisions regarding your health in the future. I am doctor Harrison Campbell of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Previously we discussed ankle sprains and explained the differences in normal ankle sprains and high ankle sprains. Tonight, we will be looking at the difference between sprains and strains.
Often times the terms sprain and strain are interchanged to describe injuries. This should not be done however as each term presents a unique injury which has been sustained. Anytime the term strain is used, the injury occurred to a muscle or a tendon. When the term sprain is used by sugar land chiropractors an injury has occurred to a ligament. This brings up another question of the difference between ligaments and tendons as these terms are often confused. A tendon is what connects a muscle to the bone. A ligament connects two bones together. A good generic way to separate these structures in your mind is that muscles and tendons move the body while ligaments stabilize the body.
Now back to the question at hand, the difference between sprains and strains. The strain as we said occurs to muscles or tendons. Typically, this occurs when the muscle goes from a resting state to an active state quickly. Most people are familiar with pulled hamstrings in a sports setting. What people really mean when saying something has been pulled, is they are saying the muscle has been strained.
Sprains on the other hand can occur in two different ways primarily. The mechanism of injury can occur which such force, the muscle is overexerted which leaves the ligaments to pick up the slack. A good example of this form a ligamentous injury is when a patient has suffered through a car accident. At Restoration health a premier sugar land chiropractors office we see many ligamentous injuries where a car accident overtaxed the muscles then causing sprains to the ligaments. A different way in which a ligamentous injury can occur is impacts providing torque to a joint in a plane which the joint is not capable of at that moment in time. A good example of this is a side impact to the knee when the foot is planted.
Aside from the anatomy distinction, the most important difference in these injuries is the recovery time. Now sugar land chiropractors will tell you severity does play a factor in the length of time it takes to return to a functional status, but there are base differences in healing as well. Muscle tissue as depicted in text books and medical shows is red. The reason for this red coloring to the tissue is from the blood which runs through the tissue. Obviously, the more blood which runs through a tissue the darker the red coloring will be. In contrast, ligaments are an off white color which is from the cartilage which makes up the this tissue. Now if there was a large blood supply to this tissue, there would be a base color of red drowning out the white.
This becomes important due to healing times. I often say to patients at Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office, that the amount of blood supply will determine how quickly a tissue heals. Tissue which has a larger blood supply heal faster. There are no two ways about this. What this means is that the darker the red of the tissue the faster it will heal. Now again this is dependent on the severity of the injury, but in general terms the more blood a tissue has access to, the faster it heals. Most people will have rolled an ankle or pulled a muscle. If you think back to recovery times, the muscle typically recovered quicker than the ligaments. This is due to the increase blood supply to the muscle when compared to ligaments.
Let us move to the symptoms experienced by each of these injuries. Both of these injuries will exhibit pain and inflammation. These symptoms are natural in any injury. When it comes to ligamentous injuries sugar land chiropractors will tell you stability becomes a problem.
Recall that ligaments connect bone to bone and where two bones come together a joint is formed. When a ligament is sprained the stability of the joint is reduced and gives way to increased joint mobility. For example, when one of the knee ligaments is sprained, the ability to walk is reduced as the patient feel unstable on their feet due to the increase ligament laxity. Additionally, there can be decreased strength. This comes from the body naturally protecting itself from further injury. When the body, through its mechanoreceptors, senses the instability the muscles give way to prevent further injury.
When it comes to strains, the symptoms revolve around strength mostly. Stretching the muscle produces pain, but the work load the muscle is capable of is decreased. There is no decrease in stability for most cases, as very rarely do muscles provide the stability for joints. The main exception to this as sugar land chiropractors know is the shoulder. Due to the high mobility of the shoulder, ligaments do not provide most of the stability for this joint. The stability comes from the rotator cuff, and should there be a strain of the rotator cuff there would be a decrease in stability.
Thank you for joining me again this evening for another great podcast. I hope you enjoyed the discussion on the differences between sprains and strains. As always should you or someone you know require a sugar land chiropractors services or simply have more questions on what was discussed please call Restoration Health today. We would love to schedule you an appointment and get you on the path to better health today. Thank you once again for joining us. Have a good night.