Sprains and Strains in Children: What To Do, When To Worry
Children who participate in sports or other activities that involve repetitive movements, such as running or jumping, are at risk of developing sprains and strains. Columbia Clinic Urgent Care takes care of your little one so they can enjoy their life to the fullest. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in 82nd Avenue Portland OR, Stark Street Portland and Tigard OR.
Table of Contents:
What is the appropriate treatment for a child suffering from a suspected sprain or strain?
What causes sprains and strains?
What are the common symptoms of sprains and strains in a child?
How do you treat a strain in a child?
How long does a muscle strain last in kids?
The appropriate treatment for a child suffering from a suspected sprain or strain will depend on the severity of the injury and the child’s symptoms. In general, the at-home treatment for a sprain or strain will include a combination of the following:
– Rest – The child should avoid activities that cause pain or discomfort, and instead rest the affected muscle.
– Ice – Applying ice to the injured area can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. It’s recommended to wrap the ice in a towel and apply it for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury.
– Compression – Compressing the injured area with a bandage can reduce swelling and provide support.
– Elevation – Keeping the affected area elevated above the level of the heart can also help reduce swelling.
Sprains and strains are common injuries that can occur in children and are caused by a variety of factors.
– Overuse or repetitive movements – Children who participate in sports or other activities that involve repetitive movements, such as running or jumping, are at risk of developing sprains and strains.
– Trauma – Accidents and falls, such as tripping, slipping, or landing hard after a jump, can cause sprains and strains in children.
– Weak muscles – Children who have weak muscles or poor muscle tone may be more prone to developing sprains and strains.
– Lack of stretching or warm-up – Children who do not properly stretch or warm-up before participating in physical activity are more likely to experience sprains and strains.
The symptoms of sprains and strains can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the specific area of the body affected. However, common symptoms of sprains and strains in children include:
– Pain – The child may experience pain, discomfort, or tenderness in the affected area.
– Swelling – The area may be swollen, red, or warm to the touch.
– Bruising – The child may develop bruises or discoloration in the affected area.
– Stiffness – The child may have difficulty moving or bending the affected joint.
– Weakness – The child may have difficulty bearing weight on the affected limb or may have difficulty using the affected muscle.
– Instability – The child may feel as if the affected joint is unstable or may experience a sense of looseness in the affected joint.
In addition to rest, ice, compression and elevation treatment which can be performed at home, clinical treatment for a strain or sprain may include a combination of the following:
– Medication – Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be given at a children’s dosage to help reduce pain and inflammation.
– Physical therapy – A physical therapist may be able to help the child regain mobility and strength in the affected muscle, and assist in preventing future injuries.
– Stretching and range of motion exercises – Gentle stretching and range of motion exercises, as recommended by a physical therapist, can help to improve the flexibility of the affected muscle or joint.
The duration of a muscle strain in children can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the child’s response to treatment. In general, mild to moderate strains typically take several weeks to heal. The healing process can be slow, and it’s important to avoid returning to normal activities too soon, as this can lead to re-injury and prolong the healing time.
The child should gradually increase the level of activity as the pain subsides, following the guidance of a healthcare professional. Physical therapy, stretching, and range-of-motion exercises can also help to speed up recovery and prevent future injuries.
If your child is experiencing severe pain, swelling, or difficulty using the affected muscle, they should be seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible. A healthcare professional can evaluate the child’s injury and provide guidance on appropriate treatment and recovery time.
Walk-in Columbia Clinic Urgent Care if your child need urgent treatment for sprain and strain. Call us for more information. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.