FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Sprains, Strains And Contusions

Apr 1, 2010
2010 / April 2010

Sprains, strains and contusions can happen to anyone — even highly trained and conditioned Olympic athletes. (Case in point: a painful shin contusion that almost prevented skier Lindsey Vonn from winning a gold medal in Vancouver.) These injuries occur wherever muscles, tendons and ligaments are present and can be temporarily disabling until they heal.

Ligaments, the fibrous bands that connect bones to one another at a joint, are normally tough in order to withstand the twisting and turning motion of our joints. They help to keep joints stable, strong and aligned correctly. When ligaments are torn or stretched beyond their limit, the resulting injury is called a sprain.

Sprains can occur from overuse of a joint, flexing or extending or twisting it beyond its normal range of motion. Any unusual force across a joint causes a sudden increase of tension or pull on a ligament and can cause it to snap. Athletes and weekend competitors are prone to these injuries, but they also can occur as a result of accidents and slips and falls.

Sprains usually cause pain, swelling and bruising in the joint and can be accompanied by muscle pain or spasm. There may be noticeable deformity due to swelling and loss of function or stability of the joint.

A strain is the tearing of muscle fibers. The majority of muscle strains occur because the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits or was forced to contract too forcefully. In mild muscle strain, only a few fibers are torn, with the muscle remaining intact and strong. In severe strain, the muscle may be torn and unable to function properly. There may be a decrease in muscle strength or a complete loss of muscle function. Sometimes people hear a “pop” in the muscle at the time of injury. There may be a dent in the normal outline of the muscle.

Muscle strain is a risk during contact sports such as football and in sports that require sudden starts such as tennis and basketball. You can also strain a muscle lifting your luggage or stepping off the curb at the airport.

A contusion, or bruise, is a crush injury to tissues beneath the skin caused by a blow of sufficient force: The greater the impact, the greater the tissue damage. If the blow is over a bony area, the bone itself may be bruised. Contusions can be sports-related but also result from blunt trauma to muscle or bone due to a fall or accident.

A contusion results in varying amounts of swelling and disability, depending on the force and location of the blow. Damage to tissue cells and capillaries results in characteristic “black-and-blue” discoloration. Because of gravity, the bruise may appear below the actual sight of the blow. The bone can also be contused, with swelling occurring between the covering of the bone and the bone itself. Due to limited circulation, swelling reduces very slowly and the contusion remains tender for an extended time.

When there is a lot of damage, large amounts of blood and waste products may collect in a pool instead of dispersing throughout the tissue. This is called a hematoma, which commonly forms following a severe contusion over a relatively flat muscular area such as the thigh.

If you experience an injury while traveling, contact your hotel concierge. The hotel may have a physician on retainer, or be able to recommend a physician to examine and treat you. You may need X-rays, a CT scan or MRI to make sure there is no fracture or torn cartilage. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce pain and swelling.

You are more likely to experience a sprain or strain if your muscles are fatigued or not in good shape, or if you do not warm up before a sport or activity. Avoid injury by warming up and stretching before physical activity and regularly exercising to strengthen muscles around your joints. Try to avoid sudden increases in intensity in your exercise program. Wear comfortable support shoes that fit your feet and suit your sports activity. Protective equipment such as pads, wrist guards or wrist splints can also help prevent injuries.

Recovery depends on the location and severity of the injury, taking a few weeks to a few months. If the sprain or strain is severe, surgery may be necessary. As your condition begins to improve, you can gradually increase activity using the injured area. Your physician may recommend physical therapy to increase your range of motion and strength. If you are not improving, contact your physician. For more information, visit www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Daily
Apr 3, 2020

Vail Resorts Provides Food, Monetary Assistance to Employees and Mountain Communities

Vail Resorts opted to close all 37 resorts early in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but the mountain resort operator also wanted to give back to the community in the face of this adversity. The excess perishable food from the various properties was donated to 30 local food banks, schools and community organizations in the communities where Vail Resorts employees live, work and play. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, juice, granola bars and more went to mountain communities from Colorado and Vermont to British Columbia.

Earn and Redeem with oneworld

oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.

Daily
Apr 3, 2020

Airlines Updates on Cancelations and Rebookings Due to COVID-19

The airline industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations, route capacity reductions and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.

April 2020
Apr 3, 2020

Singapore Airlines and AeroFarms Launch Farm-to-Plane Initiative

IN A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND PARTNERSHIP, Singapore Airlines and AeroFarms, the leader in indoor vertical farming, launched a Farm-to-Plane initiative to bring the world’s freshest inflight produce to Singapore flights from Newark International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Athens: A city that charms its guests and stirs their emotions

The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.

Daily
Apr 3, 2020

Go on Safari from Home with Africam and Explore.org

While we may be physically restricted as to where we travel, that doesn’t stop the wandering spirit from feeling the need to explore. With the rise of virtual tourism, we can do just that —  explore, but from home.

Daily
Apr 1, 2020

Munich Airport Secures Future Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As a result of travel restrictions and drastic reductions in flights worldwide, Munich Airport is suffering from decreases in nearly every area of its operations. Take-offs and landings reached a low last week, with traffic plummeting to less than 10 percent of the number year over year. Passenger traffic is at 5 percent of last year’s level.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

eFlyer Lead
Apr 1, 2020

FXExpress Publications, Inc. Team Share COVID-19 Experiences, Part 2

For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.