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Risk Management Department

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1 Risk Management Department
Sprains & Strains Presented by: Risk Management Department Nueces County 1

2 Sprains and strains – what are they? Causes
Topics of Discussion Sprains and strains – what are they? Causes Difference between sprains and strains Common types How and where they occur Signs, symptoms, treatment Ways to prevent 2

3 What are Sprains & Strains?
Sprains and strains are two types of MSDs, or musculoskeletal disorders MSD’s are injuries or disorders of the: muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and supporting structures of the upper and lower limbs, neck and lower back that are caused, precipitated, or exacerbated by sudden exertion or prolonged exposure to physical factors (e.g. force, repetition, vibration or awkward posture) - CDC/NIOSH 3

4 Causes of Sprains & Strains?
They are caused by excessive reaching, bending, lifting, gripping, squatting, or twisting of hands, shoulders or body Caused by any work performed with high force, with many repetitions, or in an awkward position 4

5 Causes of Sprains & Strains?
A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament (band of fibrous tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint); stretched too far from normal position One or more ligaments may be injured at the same time Most common: - sprained ankle 5

6 A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon (thick,
What’s the Difference? A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon (thick, tough fibrous cord of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone) Can be as simple as overstretching a muscle or tendon, or it can be a partial or complete tear Most common: strained back 6

7 Types of Sprains & Strains
Back injuries, including pulled back muscles and ruptured discs Squashed nerves causing severe pain, such as carpal tunnel in wrist or sciatic leg pain from back Ligament sprains in the upper body Shoulder muscle sprains and dislocations Abdominal hernias Tendon injuries to the hands, forearms and elbows (tennis elbow) Ankle sprains and strains 7

8 Carrying, holding, or restraining items, people or animals
How Do They Occur? Carrying, holding, or restraining items, people or animals Lifting, pushing, holding or pulling loads Working in a fixed position with the back bent, sitting or standing continuously, or driving vehicles for long periods Repetitive tasks such as reaching to lift or lower objects, or to grip tools continuously Working in awkward positions involving bending or twisting your body to reach items Vibrations through the body like driving a truck or using a powered hand tool PPT 8

9 Construction & Road Work
Where Do They Occur? Construction & Road Work Agriculture & Grounds Maintenance 9

10 Trucking & Transportation
Where Do They Occur? Trucking & Transportation Office Work & Food services 10

11 Custodial & Maintenance
Where Do They Occur? Delivery & Moving Custodial & Maintenance 11

12 What are the Signs & Signals?
For a sprain: Pain, swelling, bruising, not being able to move the joint For a strain: Pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, swelling, cramping, trouble moving the muscle 12

13 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
FIRST STAGE – to reduce swelling and pain RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) for the first 24 to 48 hours Rest the injured area (reduce regular exercise or activities as needed) Ice the injured area, 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day (cold pack, ice bag, or plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel can be used) 13

14 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
Compress the injured area, using bandages, casts, boots, elastic wraps or splints to help reduce swelling 4. Elevate the injured area, above the level of the heart, to help decrease swelling while you are lying or sitting down 14

15 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
Health care provider may recommend an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin (Bayer), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help decrease pain and inflammation If moderate sprain, may require use of mobility aids, such as a cane, crutches, a walker or wheelchair If severe sprain, may need surgery to repair torn ligaments, muscle or tendon 15

16 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
SECOND STAGE – Rehabilitation Physical therapy/exercise program: designed to help reduce swelling, prevent stiffness and restore normal, pain-free range of motion (during first week after injury) 16

17 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
2. Increase strength and flexibility (about second week after injury); usually more demanding exercises to improve function 17

18 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
Advanced stretching? 18

19 Treatments for Sprains & Strains
3. Return to full daily activities, including sports if appropriate; must work closely with physical therapist to avoid re-injury 19

20 Time needed for full recovery: Mild sprain/strain: three to six weeks
How Much Time to Heal? Time needed for full recovery: Mild sprain/strain: three to six weeks Moderate sprain/strain: two to three months Severe sprain/strain: eight to months 20

21 Although we cannot prevent all sprains and
How Can We Prevent This? Although we cannot prevent all sprains and strains from occurring, there are some tips on how to avoid them: - Stretch before you workout or move heavy items - Wear proper footwear for the activity you are doing 21

22 How Can We Prevent This? Warm up adequately before activities
Be aware and avoid slippery/ uneven surfaces. If unable to, proceed with CAUTION. 22

23 Sprains and strains are classified as muscular- skeletal disorders
Summary Sprains and strains are classified as muscular- skeletal disorders Many causes including carrying, pushing, lifting, pulling, doing repetitive tasks, or working in awkward positions Treat by using RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) Prevent by stretching, wearing proper footwear, using caution while walking 23

24 Contact Risk Management
Questions? Contact Risk Management Risk Manager: Lance C Esswein Emergency & Risk Management Specialist: Martha Sanchez Phone: FAX: 25

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