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Sprains, Strains, and Automobiles

Sprains, Strains, and Automobiles

If you out your back or twist your ankle, do you know where to go or what kind of health care provider you should be seeing? In other words, a sprain or strain is suspected – where do you drive your automobile to?

Behind door one, we have your primary care physician, Dr. Family. Behind door two is an orthopaedic surgeon, Sir Cuts-a-Lot. That leaves us with door three, an osteopathic physician specializing in non-surgical orthopaedics. Let’s name this guy, oh I don’t know, Dr. Nall.

Tell them what they’ve won, Johnny

Seeing Your Family Doctor For Orthopaedic Injuries

Dr. Family: Today’s injury package includes advice to RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevate) the injured area, possibly some pain medication to stop the pain until the area slowly begins to heal itself, and an excuse note for missing work! A lot of traditional family medicine docs don’t know about non-surgical treatment for these types of injuries, so you may be referred to…  

An Orthopaedic Surgeon 

Sir Cuts-a-Lot: Let’s start you off with a MRI, and then it’s off to the wildcard round! You may be told that because you are not a surgical candidate, there is no treatment that can be done, or Sir Cuts-a-Lot will want to perform surgery on you! As an added ‘bonus’, you may later find out the surgery wasn’t your best or only option, and you can say “hello!” to a beautiful paycheck – coming from your bank account, to them. But that’s not all; winners also receive crutches and/or a brace, and a referral to physical therapy.

Welcome to Village Osteopath

Dr. Nall: Congratulations, like Goldilocks, you just discovered the best of both worlds – the ideal in-between solution for your sprain or strain. What’s in this prize package? You may choose from any or all of the following:

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound to examine and diagnose the severity of your injury.

o   Versus an X-Ray or MRI (see our last newsletter)

Osteopathic Manipulation

o   OMT has many benefits, but when used to treat injuries, it can help relieve pain, decrease swelling, and increase the range of motion of the affected area.

 Ultrasound Guided Injection

o   The Lidocaine used for almost all injections provides immediate, temporary pain relief without the use of degenerative corticosteroids or prescription narcotics.

o   Injections promote increased blood flow to the site of the tears in the tendon or ligament (which usually receive very little blood flow), bringing in healing factors to begin the body’s own repair process.

o   Injectables like Sarapin, Vitamin B12, and dextrose are natural and provide patients relief and healing, without the time and monetary costs of surgery.

o   With ‘traditional’ treatment (RICE), sprains and strains can take 3-4 weeks to heal completely.With injections, most patients are back in business within ONE WEEK.

Directed Physical Therapy

o   After treatment and evaluation, Dr. Nall creates a directed physical therapy plan so you aren’t just getting a cookie-cutter treatment.


What’s the difference between a sprain and strain?
Sprains and strains are the medical terms for two very common types of orthopaedic injuries.

If you slip on a banana peel and ‘twist your ankle’ or if you see (insert celebrity crush) and your knees ‘give way’, the reality is you are probably experiencing a sprain – the ligaments of the joint were stretched beyond their normal limit causing a tear. Ligaments are tough, fibrous tissues that attach bone to bone and the severity of the sprain depends on how many of the fibers were torn.

If you have ever ‘pulled your back’, what you really did was strain the muscles of your poor achin’ back. Strains are injuries that occur when the muscle fibers or the tendons that attach the muscle to the bone are torn.

It is important to determine the severity of the injury in order to administer appropriate treatment to ensure a speedy recovery, as well as prevent further injury. 

First Degree Sprain – only a few fibers are torn, you may experience some stiffness and tenderness, but overall things are functional with minimal pain.

Second Degree Sprain – some fibers are torn, the area is tender and inflamed.

Third Degree Sprain – complete rupture. You are experiencing swelling, bruising, and a lot of pain when you walk or put pressure at the site of the injury. Occasionally, numbness occurs.  You look like a one-legged penguin trying to walk. 

Always Make an Appointment to See Dr. Nall if:

You experience numbness or tingling at or near the site of injury

You are unable to walk or bear weight on the injury

You have no (or very diminished) movement

There is no improvement after one week

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Village Osteopath
15510 Herriman Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 491-5272
(317) 324-3183 (fax)