At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Explain what sprains and strains are
- List some ways to prevent sprains and strains
- List and describe the four steps of the RICE first aid method for a sprain and strain
- List some reasons to get additional medical care for a sprain or strain
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is a sprain?
A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament.
What is a strain?
A strain is a stretched or torn muscle.
What is appropriate first aid for a sprain or strain?
The acronym RICE walks you through the four basic steps of providing first aid for a sprain or strain: rest, ice, compress, and elevate.
What are some common ways of suffering a sprain and strain at work?
Working too hard or too quickly; working with poor or improper ergonomics; working in a work area with poor housekeeping; and horseplay at work.
Is it ever necessary to seek medical care for a sprain or strain?
Yes, though in most cases this isn't necessary, in some cases it is. This includes if the injured area won't support weight, if the area is numb or unstable, if there's severe swelling or pain, if the person can't move the injured area, or in there is redness or red streaks (which indicate infection).
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Ligaments are strong flexible tissues that connect bones and keep joints in position. A sprain can tear ligament fibers partially or completely. They can swell quickly and be very painful. Ankles and knees are the most common sprain locations. A strain can tear a part or all of the muscle fibers and tendons attached to the muscle. Muscle strains are common in the lower back, neck, shoulder, and the muscle behind your thigh, also called the hamstring. You may feel a little stiff or if it is a severe strain, the pain may be great and movement may be very limited.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- WebMD – www.webmd.com
- Web MD Basics - http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/understanding-sprains-strains-basics
- Web MD First Aid - http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/muscle-strain-treatment
- US National Library of Medicine (NLM) – www.nlm.nih.gov
- NLM Medline First Aid - https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000042.htm
- Mayo Clinic – www.mayoclinic.org
- Mayo Clinic First Aid - http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-sprain/basics/ART-20056622
- American Red Cross – www.redcross.org
- American Red Cross SafetyNET - http://www.redcross.org/email/safetynet/v1n7/sprains.asp
- National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) – www.niams.nih.gov
- NIAMS Q&A on Sprains and Strains - http://niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sprains_Strains/