Dual board certified in anesthesiology and pain management through the American Board of Anesthesiology.
Maiden Lane Medical
Multi-Specialty Group Practice located in New York, NY
Sudden, severe pain after an injury or fall could indicate a sprain. Left untreated, a sprain can cause long-term damage and complications. To have your symptoms assessed by an expert, visit Jennifer Zocca, MD, at Maiden Lane Medical. As a pain management specialist in New York City, Dr. Zocca helps people recover from sports injuries, accidents, and trauma with compassionate, results-focused care. To request an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.
What is a sprain?
A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament. While a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, a sprain affects the tissue that connects a bone to a joint. Sprains can happen in both the lower and upper parts of the body, but the most common sprain happens in the ankle. Anytime a sprain occurs, the ligament is either stretched or torn, which can create pain, inflammation, swelling, and mobility issues.
What are the symptoms of a sprain?
A sprain may present symptoms that are similar to a strain. Common signs of a sprain include:
- Pain: Usually rapid onset; sometimes correlated with a change in activity, sometimes random
- Soreness: Extreme tenderness in the surrounding area; may hurt to touch the skin
- Swelling: Can be accompanied by redness and heat
- Immobility: Difficulty putting weight or pressure on the area
A sprain can also cause the area to bruise and change colors.
What causes a sprain?
Sprains often happen when you put extreme stress on a joint. This can happen when you’re doing normal activities, but it’s often caused by accidents or injuries, including:
- Running or walking on an uneven surface
- Pivoting or jumping
- Landing awkwardly during a fall
With a sprain, your joint is forced out of its normal position, which causes the surrounding ligaments to stretch or tear.
How are sprains treated?
In some cases, it’s possible to heal from a sprain just by resting the area, applying ice and heat, and taking anti-inflammatory pain medications. However, sprains that don’t heal properly or that are worked too strenuously before they fully recover can put you at risk for further complications.
Dr. Zocca uses a multidimensional approach to help you heal from a sprain. She may first recommend an X-ray or ask you to try a series of movements to determine the severity of your injury.
Based on your symptoms, your treatment plan might include anti-inflammatory medication or injections, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, or trigger point injections.
To accelerate your healing, follow Dr. Zocca’s instructions about exercise or follow-up care.
If you have symptoms of a sprain and need immediate care, contact Maiden Lane Medical by calling or booking a consultation online today.