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A strain is an injury to a muscle and/or tendon, a cord of tissue that attaches muscles to the bone.

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What causes a strain?

Strains are typically caused by overuse of a muscle or tendon. A strain has three categories: mild, moderate and severe, and you may experience any or all of these symptoms in all cases.

Strain Symptoms

Symptoms of a strain include:

  • Pain

  • Muscle spasm

  • Muscle weakness

  • Swelling

  • Inflammation

What is the difference between a strain and a sprain?

Strains affect the tendons (an easy way to remember this is sTrains = tendons or muscles), and sprains affect the ligaments. Both tendons and ligaments are connective tissues, and both are measured by severity. You can have a mild sprain or a severe strain, or vice versa.

How can I treat my strain at home?

If you are experiencing mild symptoms of a strain, you can typically treat them by following the acronym RICE:

Rest: Avoid putting weight on the affected area.

Ice: Apply cold for 15-20 minutes at a time.

Compression: Use an elasticized wrap to compress and reduce swelling.

Elevation: Keep the area raised whenever possible, ideally to the height of your hip or higher.

When should you visit urgent care for strain treatment?

If you’re experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of a strain, a medical provider at WellNow Urgent Care can help evaluate the severity of your injury. Check in online or walk in to a WellNow location nearest you.

This medical information has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Biernbaum, Chief Medical Officer for WellNow Urgent Care.

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Injuries We Treat

WellNow Urgent Care can help when you or a family member is hurt. Our dedicated medical team will provide prompt, comprehensive and compassionate care to help you get better, faster.

This list contains are most frequently treated injuries. If you are experiencing pain from an injury not listed or are unsure of the source of your discomfort, visit a WellNow Urgent Care clinic near you or start a virtual care session.

A - F

Abrasions (Scrapes)
Abscesses and Cysts
Animal Bites
Broken Bones
Cuts and Lacerations
Foreign Body Removal