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Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

What Is Sprain?

What Is Sprain?

A sprain is an injury to a joint inside of the body. Most sprains result from a sudden twisting that stretches or tears the tissues of the ligaments. Ligaments are bands of stringy fibers that hold the bones of a joint in their proper position.

The most common places for sprains to occur are the ankles and wrists, but a person can sprain any joint. A sprain is usually very painful. The injured part often swells and turns black and blue. Doctors often use elastic bandages to reduce swelling and to provide support for the injured joint until it has healed.

The severity of sprain ranges from a minor injury which resolves in a few days to a major rupture of one or more ligaments requiring surgical fixation and a period of immobilization. Sprains typically occur when the joint is taken beyond its functional range of motion.

There are certain factors which increase risk of sprains. Fatigue of muscles generally leads to sprains. When one suddenly starts to exercise after a sedentary lifestyle, sprains are quite common.

While scientific studies are lacking, it is often thought that not warming-up is a common cause of sprains in athletes. Warming-up is thought to loosen the joint, increases blood flow and makes the joint more flexible.

Content for this question contributed by Alicia Huntsinger, resident of Bethel Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA