Sprains & Strains

Sprains & Strains

Sprains & Strains services offered in Agoura Hills, CA

Sprains and strains are common sports-related soft tissue injuries. Though symptoms and the severity of these injuries vary, they take time to heal. At Primary Care Sports Medicine in Agoura Hills, California, Nina Yaftali, DO, is an experienced board-certified sports medicine physician who provides expert care for sprains and strains. She understands the importance of your active lifestyle and works closely with you so you can get back in the game as quickly and safely as possible. For management of your sprain or strain, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

What are sprains and strains?

Sprains and strains are soft tissue injuries that affect the ligaments or muscles and tendons.


Sprains occur when you overstretch a ligament, which is the tough fibrous tissue that connects the bones that make up a joint. Sprains occur when a joint extends beyond its normal limit, like an ankle roll that causes a sprained ankle.


Strains occur when you stretch or tear a muscle or tendon. This type of injury may happen when you pull on a contracted muscle, like during an explosive run. Strains may also occur from repetitive use or overuse.

What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?

Sprain and strain symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain 
  • Swelling
  • Joint instability
  • Muscle spasms
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty moving the affected joint

You may also feel or hear a pop when you sprain a ligament.

Sprains and strains most often affect the neck, low back, hamstring, and ankle. 

A growing child may first have a growth plate fracture before injuring a ligament or tendon. Proper care for young athletes is important to ensure they have no growth plate damage.

What happens during a sprain or strain evaluation?

When you visit Primary Care Sports Medicine for a sprain or strain evaluation, Dr. Yaftali performs a thorough evaluation to determine the severity of your injury. She categories these injuries using a grading system.


  • Grade I: Mild fraying
  • Grade II: Partial tearing
  • Grade III: Full thickness tear

Dr. Yaftali can determine the severity of the sprain or strain during a physical exam but may do onsite X-rays or diagnostic ultrasound imaging to confirm a diagnosis. 

What treatments heal sprains and strains?

Dr. Yaftali takes an individualized and holistic approach to care. To heal your sprain or strain, she customizes your plan to ensure proper healing and prevent future injuries.

Initial treatment includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), and immobilization of the injured body part. She then refers you to physical therapy to improve strength and range of motion.

For ankle sprains, Dr. Yaftali recommends using crutches or a walking boot for a short period of time to allow the ligaments to heal. You need physical therapy following a sprained ankle to strengthen the ankle joint and prevent future problems.

Sprains and strains are common sports injuries that may take time to heal. For expert care, call Primary Care Sports Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.