The term fracture means that the integrity of the bone has been lost. Fractures or broken bones are caused by falls, motor vehicles accidents, direct blows and recurrent forces. Fractures occur commonly among athletes who participate in high-velocity sports such as football, rugby and soccer. Stress fractures (eg, metatarsal stress fracture) are caused due to repetitive application of force.
Fractures can occur in an otherwise normal bone or in a bone weakened by a disorder such as cancer, cysts, or osteoporosis. Pain in broken bones is caused due to several reasons:
Pain is the commonest symptom of fracture and it occurs immediately. Pain generally begins to subside after 12 to 24 h. If the pain worsens after this period, compartment syndrome should be considered.
Persistent or chronic pain can occur with:
Other symptoms like bone tenderness, ecchymosis, decreased or abnormal motion, deformity, and crepitation may be present in some people.
Fracture can be clinically diagnosed. In patients with an obvious deformity it is easy to detect but at times it is may not be easily diagnosed.
If fracture is suspected consult a doctor at the earliest. Home care for fractures till you reach a medical facility includes RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). These supportive measures can decrease pain.
Simple analgesics like acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen can help to relieve pain.
Massage therapy, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, breathing exercise can reduce pain and discomfort following a fracture. Massage therapy can help to reduce pain and discomfort in the soft tissue around the fracture injury.
Some measures to prevent fracture and the resultant pain include:
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