Did I Sprain or Strain My Knee?
Have you asked yourself this question?
Have you ever been curious about the difference between the two?
Then read on for some useful information below…
As a result of a quick twist or turn, you may have injured your knee. Maybe your knee was forced into a position that was awkward and now you have pain… Let’s take a look at the differences between a sprain and a strain to give you some useful information.
Stretching in one specific direction can stress the ligament that is trying to hold the knee in place. When the ligament is stretched or has a tear, this is known as a “sprain”. These ligaments, are thick bands of cartilage that will attach bone to bone. Examples of some ligaments that you have in your knee are the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL).
Common symptoms that you may experience in a sprain include, swelling of the knee, bruising, instability and painful movements. There are three grades of sprains; grade 1, 2 and 3. Grade 1 sprains stretch the involved ligament, but do not tear the fibers; grade 2 sprains are more severe and tear the fibers, but the ligament does remain intact; and lastly grade 3 tears completely disrupt the ligament and it is no longer intact.
Strains, on the other hand, are injuries that involve muscles or tendons. Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones. Depending on the level of severity of the injury, a strain maybe a simple overstretch of the tendon or muscle, or you may be suffering from a partial or complete tear. A grade 1 strain is mild and involves the damage of some muscle fibers. As a result, healing can occur in two to three weeks. In a grade 2 strain, there is moderate damage to the muscle or tendon, although it is not completely ruptured.
This healing process is longer and can take up to 3-6 weeks. Lastly, in a grade 3 strain, there is a more severe injury and involves a complete rupture. The healing period might take up to three months and may include the need for surgery. Tendons usually do not heal as quickly because they have a more poor blood supply, compared to other tissues in the body.
As a result, if you have sprained or strained your knee, you may be well served by the use of a low profile knee brace. These supports can help eliminate excessive movements that will cause pain, and can help you feel more stable to take on activities throughout your day with much more confidence.