Sprains occur most commonly to all types of athletes, but also to young men and women who are required to work in front of computers for long periods of time and end up sitting incorrectly while doing so.
The symptoms can present themselves in any of the following ways: muscle fatigue, muscles tension and sprains in the joints and ligaments. They can affect the hands, wrists, back muscles, neck, shoulder, hips and legs. Overloading muscles, prolonged overuse of specific muscle groups or overextending muscles and ligaments to carry out certain tasks – such as stretching a leg to kick a football or throwing a ball a long way – could lead to inflammation in any of the mentioned muscles and ligaments.
The most effective way to avoid sprains from occurring is to warm up properly before playing sports and then cool down afterwards in a way that is appropriate to the sport being played. This will ensure that the body is well prepared and reduces the chance of injury while playing the sport.
If a sprain does occur, the area around the affected muscles should be rested whenever possible (exceptions may be made if competing). An ice pack or ice-cold water should be applied to the injured or swollen area within 24 hours of the injury occurring. Additionally, anti-inflammatory sprays or gels may be utilized to reduce swelling and pain. Heat gels and sprays should be avoided, as they can perpetuate swelling and potentially worsen the effects of the injury.
In cases where the injury does not improve, medical attention may be sought, so that anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant medication can be prescribed according to the severity of the injury and its symptoms.
M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, 1990