What is the Difference Between a Strain and a Sprain?

Any active lifestyle puts the participant at risk of injury. Whether incurred while playing sports, during an everyday activity like walking the dog or working out, or as the result of an Ontario car accident, at some point in their lives most people will experience a strain and sprain.

A sprain is occurs when a ligament, the thick, fibrous tissue that connects bones to each other, is stretched beyond its normal elasticity. These ligaments prevent abnormal movements and hold your skeleton in alignment, but too much force can stretch or even tear the ligament resulting in a sprain. Sprains are commonly found in joints like the wrists, knees and ankles. When someone says they have a “twisted ankle”, they actual are suffering from a sprain.

A strain, on the other hand, refers to an injury to a muscle or tendon. Muscles and tendons work together to stretch and contract as they move bones from position to position, enabling our body’s to perform a dizzying array of contortions. When these muscles or tendons stretch too far, are stretched while simultaneously contracting (often sustained in weight lifting related injuries like a groin pull or pulled hamstring), or torn, it is called a strain.

Both strains and sprains are characterized by joints that may appear swollen or bruised and may stiff or painful. Treatment is usually non-invasive and may include anti-inflammotories, over-the-counter or prescription pain medications, immobilization, icing the injury, compression, elevation of the affected limb, and most importantly rest.

While you may not be able to completely prevent sprains and strains, there are some ways to lessen the odds of such an injury happening:

  • Stretch before working out or engaging in other strenuous physical activity
  • Also wear footwear that fits properly and provides the necessary support
  • Be careful walking on dangerous surfaces like ice or rocky terrain

If you are sidelined by a strain or sprain resulting from your Ontario accident, contact an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case.  Call our law firm today 613 233-4529.

Should I Ask My Doctor for an MRI?

In the days and weeks following your Ontario car accident, you may have questions about your injuries and the tests recommended by your doctor. Though experts have a series of tests they use to diagnosis patients based on the symptoms and complaints they present with, sometimes we are the best experts when it comes to our own bodies. We know what feels normal to us, and after a trauma like an accident, we may have the best insight into a continuing or developing problem. If you suspect an injury has gone undiagnosed, you may need a diagnostic test like an MRI.

 An MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging, is the best way to examine the body’s soft tissues, such as the areas between bones, muscle tissue and spinal discs. Whereas x-rays see bone, an MRI focuses on all the areas in between.

MRI’s must be ordered by a doctor and are most often used by specialists like orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. The results must be read and interpreted by a medical professional trained specifically in MRIs, which includes most doctors that would order the test as well as the radiologist that may perform the scan.

If you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing pain without a cause verified on tests you doctor’s have performed, it may be time to consider an MRI. Injuries like herniated or bulging spinal discs, nerve damage, a torn meniscus or an injured rotator cuff all usually show up on an MRI. Hard medical evidence like this is difficult for the insurance company to refute and can prove essential to recovering the damages you deserve in your personal injury case.

If you suspect a soft tissue injury is responsible for your persistent undiagnosed pain and your doctor has not ordered an MRI, request one. as soon as possible.  Ask your doctor to place you on the waiting list for the scan.

The experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are prepared to fight for your right to the compensation your deserve.  Call our law firm today at 613 233-4529 to schedule a free consultation.  We have all the information you need to make the right decisions about your case.

The Most Dangerous Intersections in Ottawa

According to an article in the August 18th edition of The Ottawa Citizen, a recently released city report names the intersection at Riverside Drive and Hunt Club Road the most dangerous in Ottawa. With 53 crashes reported in 2011, Riverside/Hunt Club has the highest number of collisions of any signal-controlled intersection in the city, a dubious honor it holds for the second year in a row. In 2010, the same intersection was the site of 43 reported accidents.

The rest of the intersections named in report are listed in descending order according to the number of reported collisions:

  • Belfast Road at St. Laurent Boulevard (32)
  • Baseline Road at Woodroffe Avenue (31)
  • Catherine Street at Kent Street (30)
  • Walkley Road at Hawthorne/Russell Roads (30)
  • Prince of Wales Drive at West Hunt Club Road (30)
  • Blair Road at Blair Road Ramp 36 (29)
  • Clyde Avenue at Merivale Road (29)
  • Industrial Avenue at St. Laurent Boulevard (29)
  • Baseline Road at Greenbank Road (28)
  • Beechwood Avenue at Crichton Street (28)


Although the total number of collisions in Ottawa increased to 15,295 in 2011 from 14,953 in 2010, the number of accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities actually decreased. Fatalities alone dropped a dramatic 34% from 38 in 2010 to 25 in 2011 – the lowest number of fatalities in 6 years. Interestingly, none of the fatalities occurred at the intersections above. These decreases are even more significant considering that the number of registered drivers and vehicles actually increased during the same time period.

The study follows last year’s revamping of the Safe Roads Ottawa Program initially launched in January 2004. The program focuses on the 3 E’s (Engineering, Education, and Enforcement) and aims to reduce the overall number of collisions in Ottawa by increasing public awareness and coordinating efforts between road safety and enforcement agencies.

If you live in Ontario and have been involved in a collision, reach out to the experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case.  Call our law firm today 613 233-4529.

Some information sourced from an article in the Ottawa Citizen.

Three Women Injured in Orleans Motor Vehicle Accident

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that a two-vehicle collision in Orleans, Ontario injured three women in their twenties on August 11, 2012 in the afternoon.  Air bags deployed in both vehicles and there was significant damage to both vehicles.

The door of one of the vehicles was removed by firefighters in order to grant access to paramedics access to a 24-year-old woman.  She appears to have suffered a head injury as well as a possible fractured pelvis.

In a second vehicle, a 26 year old woman suffered a fractured collar bone.  A 27-year-old woman had shoulder and neck pain.

The collision ocurred at 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Boulevard and Old Tenth Line Road.  Our law office office has dealt with motor vehicle accidents at this location.  Visibility and an unusual lane pattern may contribute to accidents at this dangerous intersection.

Accident Scene

This intersection sees many accidents.




Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer on the Radio

Auger Hollingsworth is delighted to announce that lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth will be live on 580 CFRA on Saturday, August 18, 2012.  That’s 580 on the AM radio dial.

Brenda will be answering live calls about all things personal injury.  If you have a question or comment, we hope to hear from you.  The show runs for an hour starting at 2 p.m.

We hope Ottawa listeners will take this opportunity to ask questions about the personal injury process, how to get fair compensation and when you might be entitled to compensation.

If you have a question or comment, and can’t wait for the radio program or want to speak directly to our law firm, call 613 233-4529.  We look forward to speaking to you.