What is a Sprain?

Sprains occur when ligaments, the tissue that connects bones, are stretched or torn.  The most common area for this kind of injury is the ankle. Sprains are commonly confused with strains. The main difference is sprains affect ligaments that connect bones, while strains affect the band of tissue that attaches a muscle to bone.

Sprain Treatments

The most common treatments for sprains include rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Most of the time this sprains can be taken care of at home, however, in some cases, surgery may be required to repair torn ligaments. 

Sprain Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of sprains vary depending on the severity of the injury, but the overall symptoms tend to be similar. The common symptoms include:


  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Bruising 
  • Limited ability to move the affected joint 
  • Hearing or feeling a “pop” in your joint at the time of injury

Causes of Sprains

Sprains occur when you overextend the ligament causing tears or severe stress on the joint. Examples of sprains include:


  • Ankle – Ankle sprains can occur while walking or running, usually when your foot lands awkwardly. 
  • Knee – Knee sprains typically occur when you perform some sort of pivot movement during athletic activity. 
  • Wrist – Wrist sprains typically occur when you land on an outstretched hand during a fall. 
  • Thumb – Thumb sprains tend to happen during an athletic activity when the ligaments that support the thumb are stretched or torn. 

When to see a doctor 

If you experience a sprain, simple RICE treatment will usually do the trick. You should see a doctor if:


  • You’re unable to move or bear weight on the affected area
  • Have any direct pain over the bones of an injured joint
  • Have numbness in the affected area


If you experience any of the above symptoms, the injury may be more severe than a simple sprain.


Las Vegas Urgent Care provides knowledgeable, caring treatment for sprains and other ailments. Schedule your appointment today by calling (702) 852-2000 or check in now with Quick Pass.