As you know if you have ever sprained a hand or foot, not all sprains are equal. Sprains are generally classified into three grades – or degrees – depending on severity. The three grades of sprains range from a first grade sprain (the least severe) to the third grade sprain (most sever).
The grade or degree of sprain suggests how severely torn the ligaments are because of injury. Ligaments are the strong, flexible fibers that adhere bones together inside a joint. They are often wrongly identified as tendons, which are the elastic tissue holding muscle with bone. A sprain, by definition, is an injury to one or more ligaments.
Each of the three grades of sprains has unique needs for treatment. Soft tissue damage like a sprain could be misleading, though, so for all sprains, it’s recommended to seek medical help. This is even true for a comparatively small sprain. The RICE method of caring for the sprain is normally deemed the most efficient immediate and longer-term treatment. RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, each part of which is an integral part of addressing any grade of sprain. The purpose of RICE is mainly to stop inflammation, therefore preventing the soreness as well as facilitating recovery.
Grade 1 Sprain
The first degree of sprain seriousness is grade one. In these sprains, the ligament has been stretched although not thoroughly injured. While possibly unpleasant, these types of sprains are not likely to bring about long-term problems. Between RICE and a prolonged rest, it does not take a grade one sprain a long time to mend.
First degree sprains are extremely widespread. Anytime a joint extends an excessive amount, it’s prone to be painful. A rolled foot that makes you limp for a few days may be an example. Jammed fingers – the kind which are challenging to flex for a few days – may be sprains.
Grade 2 Sprain
Second degree sprains are the not-so-happy medium of sprains. Second degree sprains usually recover entirely. Being worse, however, they’re more painful and take longer to mend. In a grade two sprain, the suspensory ligaments are extended to the point of ripping, but only partially.
It’s always hard to determine precisely how long a grade two sprain requires to recover. As a general rule, however, it typically takes two to four weeks to recover. Sprains weaken the ligaments, though, therefore it is advisable to hold back until the joint fully recuperates before returning to routine activities. The RICE method will take care of the injury in the days after being injured, after which physiotherapy can take over.
Grade 3 Sprain
This category of sprain is the result of more substantial injury. This degree of sprain signifies a sizable rip or a total rupture of one or more ligaments. Completely losing the use of the damaged joint is normal for this injury, and the pain can be too much to handle. Thankfully for the typical person, these injuries are a great deal more widespread among professional athletes involved in contact sports. Athletes suffering from this injury can lose time of playing time while getting better.
It’s often essential to have grade three sprains repaired in an operation. These sprains will almost always need a few months to recover, however, despite expert care. Prevention is better than cure with these sprains, though, as they can be a persistent problem for quite a while.