It’s not always easy to tell when the pain you’re experiencing in your ankle, knee, wrist, or finger is because of a sprain or a break. The pain you experience is not always a clear indicator of whether or not the pain is because of a sprain or break, but the importance of getting treatment for a spring vs break can be significant for how effective your recovery will be.
If you are not sure about the difference between a sprain vs break, keep reading below or contact us at Urgent Care Extra to learn more about sprains and breaks and how to treat them.
Is It Sprained or Broken?
If you are asking, “what is the difference between a sprain and a break,” we’ll help you get to the bottom of understanding whether or not the pain you’re experiencing is because of a sprain or break.
At a glance, many of the symptoms and signs of a sprain or a break are very similar, if not identical in some situations. This makes it difficult to determine whether or not your foot is sprained or broken. For example, sprains can involve mild to severe pain, including symptoms of sudden pain, swelling, bruising and an inability to walk, which can also be present in a bone fracture.
However, if your ankle, knee, wrist or finger is broken, you will need medical attention, because the circumstances can be much more severe depending on the situation.
There are a few key signs that can help you to indicate whether or not it’s a sprain vs break.
Did you hear a sound when the accident occurred?
Often times when a bone is broken or fractured, a cracking sound can be heard. While on the other hand, a sprain is comparable to a popping sound.
Does the affected area look crooked or deformed?
If after the accident you realize that the affected limb (ankle, knee, wrist, finger, etc.) is angled abnormally into a crooked position or is otherwise deformed, you might be experiencing a broken bone and not a sprain. Shortly after the accident, a broken bone will also cause the area to swell up.
Does it feel numb?
Numbness of the ankle is often attributed to ankles that have broken. Check on your ankle after you have experienced the accident to determine whether or not it feels numb.
Are you able to move the affected limb?
If you cannot walk on your injured ankle, move your hand, “grab” with your fingers, or otherwise move or feel excruciating pain when trying to move the body part in any way, you are likely experiencing a broken bone or fracture.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of a broken bone, you should contact your medical professional at Urgent Care Extra immediately. The sooner you can get your ankle, knee, wrist, or finger checked by a medical professional, the better your chance will be at a swift and effective recovery.
Treatment for Sprains and Breaks
Is it sprained or broken? If you’re not sure, you can always visit Urgent Care Extra to have your ankle, knee, wrist or finger looked at. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your body, especially when some injuries can lead to permanent damage if not treated correctly.
If you are unable to visit Urgent Care Extra at the time of the accident and injury, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the pain and reduce the risk of permanent damage.
“RICE” is an acronym to help people (especially athletes and other active individuals) remember how to treat breaks, sprains and other injuries:
- Resting – After the accident, make sure to stop what you are doing and take a seat to rest. Continuous strain on the broken/sprained limb can cause more damage to it, which may make recovery more difficult if you do not take time to care for it.
- Icing – After resting, carefully apply ice to the injured area of the area to help reduce swelling.
- Compressing – After icing, apply compression to the area with medical bandages or any kind of fabric.
- Elevating – After compressing the affected area, elevate it to further help with reducing the amount of pain and swelling.
The RICE protocol can help to reduce pain and the risk of severe damage until professional medical assistance arrives. Always consult with your doctor before continuing with your physical activities, especially sports and other strenuous activities. You may have to wear a splint or boot to help with the recovery process, but this is important for getting the body to heal properly.
Contact Urgent Care Extra today to learn more about sprains and breaks. We provide quick, effective and affordable treatment solutions for all breaks and sprains. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call and let us know and we will be happy to help you.