Sprains, Strains & Fractures

Treatment for Sprains, Strains, and Fractures

A fracture is a medical term used to describe a broken bone. It occurs when a force is applied to a bone that is greater than what the bone can withstand, causing it to break. A fracture can be either closed, meaning the skin is intact, or open, where the bone has broken through the skin. Fractures can range from small cracks in the bone to complete breaks. The severity of a fracture is determined by the amount of force applied and the type of bone broken.

A sprain is a ligament tear. A ligament is a band of soft tissue that connects the bones at a joint. It usually results from a joint being forced beyond its normal range of motion, resulting in the ligament being stretched or torn. Sprains can range from mild to severe, with symptoms such as swelling, bruising, and pain at the joint.

A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or a group of muscles. It is caused by overstretching or tearing the muscle fibers, resulting in pain, weakness, and decreased range of motion. Muscle strains can occur in any muscle, but are most common in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, and legs.

What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?

The main difference between a sprain and a strain is the type of tissue affected. Sprains affect the ligaments, whereas strains affect the muscles or tendons. The signs and symptoms of a sprain and a strain are similar. Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected area are common with both injuries. However, the severity of the pain and the extent of the damage can vary depending on the injury.

How can I tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture?

Sprains are soft-tissue injuries caused by overstretching or tearing the ligament. Sprains are commonly experienced in the ankles, but fingers, wrists, knees, and feet can be sprained, too. Symptoms of a sprain can include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the part of the body.

A fracture is an injury to a bone, usually caused by a direct blow or excessive force. Symptoms of a fracture can include extreme pain, swelling, bruising, and inability to move the injured region. In some cases, the bone may be visible through the skin, or you may be able to feel a crack when pressing on the affected area.

The best way to tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture is to visit an urgent care provider. They will be able to examine the area and take an X-ray if necessary to determine the type and extent of the injury.

What are the symptoms of a sprain?

If you think you’ve experienced a sprain, visit an urgent care center as soon as possible. While the injury might not be serious, having the injury assessed by a medical professional can ensure no further damage is done to the ligaments.

The following are the most common symptoms of a sprain:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Instability
  • Decreased range of motion

What are the symptoms of a fracture?

While the symptoms of a sprain are sometimes similar to those of a fracture – pain, swelling, and bruising are common – there are a few key differences.

Fractures generally occur along the length of bone, whereas sprains occur around a joint. It can be possible to put weight on a strain, whereas a fracture cannot sustain any weight.

Please seek medical care immediately if you experience the following:

  • Deformity
  • Pain in the bone
  • Cracking sound on impact
  • Inability to move the limb/loss of function
  • Fever

At Emerald Coast Urgent Care, we provide care for sprains and fractures on a walk-in basis, meaning that you can be seen without an appointment.

The recommended treatment for a sprain or fracture depends upon the type and severity of the injury. Your physician will design a treatment plan based upon your age, overall health, and the extent of the damage. Medical imaging, such as an X-ray, might be required.

A sprain might require a splint to stabilize the injured ligament. A fracture might require a splint, braces, a plaster cast, or surgical intervention.

If you need fast medical attention, please don’t hesitate to visit one of Emerald Coast Urgent Care’s friendly walk-in clinics. To talk to a friendly representative, please call 850-654-8878 for our Destin location, 850-236-8655 for our Panama City Beach location, or 850-588-1843 for our Inlet Beach location.


Would you like to know more?
Call the location nearest you:

Destin: 850-654-8878
Panama City Beach: 850-236-8655
Inlet Beach: 850-588-1843


Emerald Coast Urgent Care locations:

12598 Emerald Coast Pkwy.,
Destin, Fl 32550

2704 Thomas Dr.,
Panama City Beach, Fl 32407

13625 US-98, Suite 8-9
Inlet Beach, FL 32413

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