The Difference Between a Sprain and Strain

The Difference Between a Sprain and Strain

Individuals with active lifestyles are commonly prone to injured muscles, tendons and ligaments. The soft tissues are more likely injured during exercises, sports and athletic activities. However, even simple daily activities may cause a musculoskeletal injury.

In finding out whether the amount of pain you have is a sprain (tear) or a strain, it is better to consult a doctor for proper assessment. These types of injuries may take a longer amount of healing time, even after the provision of appropriate treatment.

What is a Sprain?

A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, which is a connective tissue that stabilizes the bones. The severity of a sprain may be categorized by the extent of tissue tearing, pain, swelling, and the force on joint stability.

Body areas that are most susceptible for sprains are the knees, ankles, and wrists. With extreme tension on the ligaments of the ankles, the foot can turn inward and a sprain can occur.

Symptoms of a Sprain:

  • Tenderness and bruising
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling

What is a Strain?

A strain is a damage to muscle fibers and tendons. Tendons are fibrous tissues that attach muscles to the bones. A strain is also known as a ‘torn muscle’ or ‘ruptured tendon’.

With similarity to sprains, a strain can be a stretch in a muscle or tendon. It can also be a partial to complete tear in both the muscle and tendon fused together.

The type of sports that may jeopardize athletes to suffer from strains are basketball, volleyball, football, soccer, boxing, hockey, long jump and running. Tennis players and gymnasts are prone to hand strains due to several gripping required in these sports. Elbow strains regularly occur in sports that demand throwing, such as racket.

Symptoms of a Strain:

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cramping

At PM&R, we treat various types of injuries and see sprains and/or strains in various parts of the body. Our experts can assess your exact issue and the best course of action to recover and heal properly.

Call us today at 317-565-2848.

What to Expect During Radio-Frequency Neurotomy Treatment

What to Expect During Radio-Frequency Neurotomy Treatment

A radio-frequency neurotomy is a musculoskeletal medicine procedure that is done to cauterize or burn the small, short nerves that carry pain from the spinal facet joints to the spine, interrupting the pain pathway. Its purpose is to stop pain from the spinal joints (facets) for six months to one year.

What Happens?

X-ray equipment (fluoroscopy) is always used. The patient lies down and the to-be injected area is numbed with a local anesthetic (Novocain) and then two needles are directed to the target area. Electrodes are inserted into the needles and motor stimulation is done to ensure that the spinal nerve is not being stimulated. Radio waves are sent through the electrodes to create the heat in the needles.

Are There Side Effects?

You may experience a sensation similar to a sunburn following the procedure. This is normal and temporary. If severe, additional medications to treat this side effect are available. However, complications for this procedure are low.

How Will I Feel?

Although this is thought to be painful or uncomfortable, the painful part mainly resides in the positioning of the needles. Since the area is numbed, the actual burning itself is not painful. Post-procedure pain medication is usually provided to limit any discomfort.

Most people report feeling relief as soon as the post-procedure medication begins to wear off. So, the results of the procedure are quick.

This procedure doesn’t restrict you from your activities and daily life. However, if you choose to do sedation, we recommend not driving or operating machinery until 24 hours.


If you are interested in learning more of want to know if you are a candidate, we would love to see you for a consultation.

Contact PM&R at 315-565-2848.

Arthritis is On The Rise.  How Can I Prevent Joint Pain?

Arthritis is On The Rise. How Can I Prevent Joint Pain?

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints.  This can cause pain, swelling and tenderness.  About 350 million people worldwide suffer from arthritis.  About 40 million of those people are Americans.  Of those affected, over half are women.

Arthritis is commonly misconstrued as only affecting the aging or elderly.  However, more than half of those with arthritis are under the age of 65.  With these staggering numbers, you might be wondering how one can prevent this joint pain? Check out these helpful tips below.

Healthy Diet

As with prevention of any ailment, a healthy diet is always beneficial to your overall health and wellness. There are several foods you can add to your diet to help prevent joint pain.  The foundation of any diet should consist of fruits and vegetables.   Five servings a day is recommended.  In addition, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce swelling and inflammation. This healthy fat is found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, flaxseeds and walnuts. Try eating 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week.  Foods rich in vitamin D promote healthy bones.  In addition to your fish, try to add some more milk or cheese to your diet as well.

Weight Loss

Excessive weight plays a large role in joint pain.  When you lose weight through diet and exercise, you are able to not only relieve stress from your joints, but also increase muscle that supports your joints.

Stay Moving

The more you are moving, the less stiff your joints will be. If you are looking to get your heart rate elevated but want a low impact exercise option, try swimming, bicycling, rowing, and elliptical or even walking.  These are best options for protecting your joints.  In addition to these low impact exercises, you might want to try practices like yoga and Pilates.  These both help strengthen your ab and back muscles, which ultimately help maintain balance and lessens your likelihood of injury by falling.

Make Use of Your Stronger Joints

Do you typically carry a heavy purse or backpack? Consider how you are lifting and carrying heavy items. Allow for larger muscles and joints such as your arms to carry these kinds of items. Take the pressure off smaller joints like fingers and wrists.

Go Hands Free

As mentioned above, keeping joints locked in the same position for an extended period of time does not help with joint pain.  A daily occurrence like talking on the phone can prove harmful over time.  Try going hands free using the speaker or blue tooth features of your phone.

Do you suffer from arthritis pain? Let us help you return to an active and healthy lifestyle. Call PM&R Associates today to schedule an appointment at 317-565-2848.

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation as a Treatment for Pain?

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation as a Treatment for Pain?

The use of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for pain has a long history. With time, the equipment has gotten better and the treatment has become more effective. Spinal cord stimulation is used extensively by the armed forces for war injuries. This is an effective method of pain control for both back and leg pain of any origin. It is used for back pain without leg pain, leg pain of any cause without back pain, or in patients with both. Any patient with back or leg pain of any cause is a candidate. It is used when other procedures have failed or medication is not effective in relieving pain.

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a device that has two parts. One part is the leads that are placed in the epidural space, which is the space where medication is placed with an epidural injection. The second part is the battery and waveform generator. The battery has to be replaced every seven to ten years. The leads stay in until removed.

How does it work for pain?

There are two phases in treating pain with spinal cord stimulation. The first is a trial period of one week where the leads are implanted on a temporary basis, but the battery is not. The patient has wires coming out of the skin that are attached to a trial simulator, which functions like the implanted battery. The patient can increase or decrease the stimulation, change programs, or even turn it off if it is bothersome for certain activities. After the one-week trial, the stimulator leads are removed. If the patient gets good results, a permanent stimulator is scheduled for implant.

The leads are placed using a needle under x-ray guidance, so you will be required to lie face down during the procedure.

After the procedure, you will be asked not to do excessive bending or twisting. The dressing during the trial must be kept dry. Most patients experience pain relief the same day or the next day after the procedure.

All insurance companies require a psychological evaluation before they will authorize the trial. This is to be sure there are no psychological problems that are severe enough to prevent the patient form getting relief from the stimulator.

Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation

  • Limited to no side effects
  • Reversible
  • Minimally invasive
  • Adjustable pain relief
  • Targeted pain relief

Do you think you could benefit from spinal cord stimulation for pain? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment at 317-565-2848!