President's Prescription: Strains and Sprains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: Strains and Sprains

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Spring break isn't just a time for vacation. 

After a long winter, it's also time to start some enjoying the outdoors, but before you jump or run into a spring workout beware of strains and sprains.

As spring rolls into high gear, many are taking the opportunity to get active. For some, this will be the first time they have been active since last summer. And with this increased activity, there is also an increase in the risk of strains and sprains, some of the most common athletic injuries. 

Strains occur when you stretch or tear a muscle or tendon. Sprains occur when you tear a ligament — the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones to one another. Strains and sprains occur in any of the body's moving joints, so keeping them healthy requires effort. While most will heal on their own over time, more severe injuries lead to chronic problems with pain as well as joint function.

There are risks that can be modified to lower the odds of developing a strain or sprain, including:

Increased weight. Carrying extra weight places greater stress on joints and their supporting structures.

Physical deconditioning. When you're out of shape and challenge your body to do something it is not accustomed to doing, muscles, tendons and ligaments are more likely to get injured.

Lifting heavy objects. Don't be too ambitious when it comes to yard work or household chores.

Playing "ballistic" sports. Activities that require a lot of quick starts and stops (including court sports like tennis, basketball, racquetball, etc.) place greater stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Spring and summer are great times to enjoy being active and outdoors, but injuries like strains and sprains can put a damper on your plan, so do your best to prevent those you can, and treat those you can't with proper care.

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