Sprains & Muscle Strains


Sprains and ligament strains are very common injuries that affect muscles and ligaments.


A sprain occurs when one or more of your ligaments have been stretched, twisted or torn, usually as a result of excessive force being applied to a joint.

Common locations for sprains include the knees, ankles, backs, wrists and thumbs.

Symptoms of a sprain can include:
  • pain around the affected joint
  • unable to use the joint normally or being unable to put weight on it
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • tenderness

    Muscle strain

    A muscle strain occurs when muscle fibres stretch or tear. They usually occur when the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits or it has been forced to contract (shorten) too quickly. Muscle strains are particularly common in the knees, legs such as hamstrings, lumbar region (lower back) and shoulders

    Symptoms of a muscle strain can include:
  • pain in the affected muscle
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • muscle spasms (when the muscles contract tightly and painfully)
  • loss of some, or all, of the function in the affected muscle


    Sprains are often diagnosed on the basis of the type of injury and where the pain and tenderness is. Sometimes in servere cases an MRI can help diagnose a specific sprain.


    Most sprains and strains are relatively minor and will regain full use of the affected body within two to six weeks when treated , although severe injuries may take longer to heal and some people may experience persistent problems lasting several months or longer. However if you feel your symptoms have not improved within a few days of self-treatment such as ice we recommend this be assessed by one of our practitioners, here at the clinic we can assess your sprain or strain to ascertain if you have another serious injury, such as a fracture.


    The initial treatment of either a sprain or a muscle strian includes rest, elevation and ice. It is important to keep weight off of the affected foot or ankle. Ultra sound , soft tissue mobilisation may be applied. In some cases a cast or splint is applied to minimise motion so that the foot or ankle can heal properly. In other cases surgery may be needed to repair a ligament or to stabilise a fracture. Here at First Step Clinic we also provide rehabilitation and exercise plans to assist with your road to recovery.


  • Without Treatment:

    If the support of the ligarments or tendons are compromised, then permanent damage may result. If the tissues do not heal properly then pain may progress and may not go away.