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How Sprains and Strains are Treated

Sprains and StrainsSprains and strains are among the most common injuries for those seeking physical therapy treatment on Long Island. It is commonly seen during summer from sports injuries and in winter from slip and falls. These injuries can also result from motor vehicle accidents, work related injuries etc. Sprains are different from strains. A sprain occurs when a ligament tears or stretches. While a strain refers to any injury affecting your muscles or tendons.

Treatment Protocol


RICE – rest, ice, compress and elevate, along with physical therapy and exercises are the most recommended sprains and strains treatment. RICE is the first step in relieving pain and swelling to promote optimum healing and flexibility outlined as follows:

  • Rest the injured area.
  • Apply an ice pack for 10 to 15-minute periods every three hours.
  • The next stage involves applying a compression bandage around the area, but not too tightly.
  • Finally you should ensure the area affected is kept in a position above the heart, which helps reduce the swelling. This can be done by lying down and keeping the affected areaelevated.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy treatment varies based on the severity of the injury:

  • Physical therapy for sprains include therapeutic exercises for stretching and strengthening muscles around the affected joint. Joint mobilization techniques are carried out, as well as heat or ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
  • Physical therapy for strains includes stretching and strengthening the affected as well as the surrounding muscles. Soft tissue mobilization is carried out to break up the fibrous and the scar tissues. Heat and ice, or either of them, are used as needed for controlling the pain and swelling.

The goal of physical therapy with respect to strains is to enable the healing of the injured muscle as well as preventing scar tissue from building up significantly. The goal is to get patients back into their normal daily routine.

Comprehensive Healthcare Group’s professional team located in Valley Stream and Oceanside specializes in treatment of sprains and strains. We will help you get back to your daily activities and will advise you on how to prevent and avoid such injuries.