Can a Sprain Heal on Its Own Without Treatment?

Can a Sprain Heal on Its Own Without Treatment?

Like most injuries, a sprain can happen in an instant. All it takes is to turn a joint awkwardly, and the ligaments — which hold the bones of a joint together — can stretch or tear from the strain. That’s when pain, swelling, and bruising can set in. Sometimes, you can even hear or feel a “pop” in the moment and have problems moving the affected joint normally.

Sprains are a very common injury, especially with the ankle. However, they can occur anywhere two or more bones come together in your skeleton, including your fingerswristshoulder, and neck.

Unfortunately, many people don’t give much thought to sprains. However, they deserve proper attention, because ignoring a sprain can lead to an even worse injury. Thomas F. Saylor, MD, of Orthopaedic Care Specialists in North Palm Beach, Florida, is an expert in diagnosing and treating sprains. In this blog, he explains what you should do if you suffer a sprain.

How to handle a sprain

The most important thing to know about sprains is that they’re not all one and the same. 

For instance, you can have a minor injury to a ligament that heals on its own within a few days, or you can have severe damage that requires surgical intervention. There are also sprains that fall in between these extremes. But regardless of their severity, a sprain needs proper care to heal, whether that means rest, physical therapy, or surgery. 

If you think you sprained something, stop what you’re doing and start the RICE protocol immediately. This handy acronym stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which is the first line of defense for reducing the inflammation, swelling, and pain of an injury. 

Minor sprains usually respond to the RICE method within 48-72 hours. However, if you have severe pain, symptoms that worsen, or don’t see signs of improvement, it’s time to see an expert, because it likely won’t heal on its own.

Treating a sprain

After assessing your injury, Dr. Saylor could suggest a few different approaches, including physical therapy, regenerative medicine, or minimally invasive surgery.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy can help stabilize and strengthen the injured area. This therapy often involves special exercises, movement modifications, and prevention strategies to help you avoid reinjury in the future.

In addition to physical therapy, Dr. Saylor could also recommend bracing or other types of devices to immobilize the injured joint during the healing process.

Regenerative medicine

Another highly effective treatment for soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, is regenerative medicine. These treatments work to stimulate and enhance the healing process on a cellular level. 

If you have a sprain, Dr. Saylor could suggest platelet-rich plasma therapy. With this type of therapy, Dr. Saylor takes a sample of your blood and puts it in a centrifuge, which separates the platelets in your blood from the other components. Then he takes the resulting platelet serum and injects it into the injured area. Platelets are very powerful, because they help boost the healing process. 

Minimally invasive surgery

If you sustain severe damage or don’t respond to more conservative treatments, you could need surgery to repair the ligament. Fortunately, Dr. Saylor specializes in minimally invasive techniques, which come with high success rates as well as faster recovery times and fewer risks when compared to traditional surgery. 

Did you sustain a sprain? Dr. Saylor can help you get on the road to recovery. To learn more, call 561-260-5993 to book an appointment with Orthopaedic Care Specialists today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Shoulder Bursitis Symptoms

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Shoulder Bursitis Symptoms

A sore shoulder here and there likely isn’t too much cause for concern. But if you have sudden, recurring, or chronic pain, it could be due to bursitis — and that can add up to long-term damage. Here’s what you should know.

How to Manage Severe Tendonitis Pain

Intense or chronic pain in your shoulder? Elbow? Wrist? Thumb? Tendonitis can strike near any joint and requires proper attention to avoid long-lasting inflammation. If you have severe pain from tendonitis, here’s what you should do.
4 Telltale Signs of Wrist or Ankle Sprain

4 Telltale Signs of Wrist or Ankle Sprain

Many minor injuries, like sprains, respond to self-care treatments at home. But how do you know if it’s really a sprain — or when to see an expert? Read on to learn the most common signs of a sprain and when to see a doctor.