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What’s the difference between a strain and a sprain?

What’s the difference between a strain and a sprain?
What’s the difference between a strain and a sprain?
Sprains and strains are among the most common injuries related to sports and exercise. Factors contributing to these types of injuries include poor conditioning, fatigue, improper warm-up, environmental conditions and/or poor equipment. Although they are similar, sprains and strains are not the same.

Sprains and strains are among the most common injuries related to sports and exercise. Factors contributing to these types of injuries include poor conditioning, fatigue, improper warm-up, environmental conditions and/or poor equipment. Although they are similar, sprains and strains are not the same.

A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments and is common in joints like the ankle. Symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, limited movement in the affected joint, and in some cases, an audible “pop” in the joint when the injury occurs.

A sprain occurs when stress is put on a joint and the ligament in that joint is overextended or torn. An ankle sprain can occur when walking or exercising on an uneven surface. Pivoting during an athletic activity can result in a knee sprain, and falling and landing with an outstretched hand can cause a wrist sprain. These are some of the most commonly reported sprain injuries.

A strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon and is common in the lower back and hamstring muscles. Strains can cause pain, swelling, muscle spasms and limited ability to move the affected muscle.

There are two types of strains: acute and chronic. Acute strain occurs when a muscle is pulled or even torn doing activities like running or jumping, lifting a heavy object or slipping and falling. A chronic strain results from the prolonged, repetitive movement of a muscle during sports like gymnastics, tennis, rowing or golf.

Treatment for a sprain or strain depends on the joint involved and the severity of the injury. Mild and even moderate sprains and strains can typically be treated at home with rest, ice, compression, elevation and an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Mild or moderate sprains or strains may require a brace or splint to immobilize the area.

A severe sprain or strain might require surgery to repair the torn tissue. If you suffer a sprain or strain and can’t walk more than a few steps without significant pain, cannot move the affected joint or experience numbness in the injured area, it’s time to see a doctor.

To minimize your risk of sprains and strains, try to keep your body in good physical condition, especially if you are playing a particular sport. Trying to play a sport when you are out of shape can put you at greater risk of injury. Protect your joints through strengthening and conditioning exercises, including stretching and stability exercises. Good shoes that offer support for your feet can also help prevent injury.

Sprains and strains are among the most common injuries related to sports and exercise. Factors contributing to these types of injuries include poor conditioning, fatigue, improper warm-up, environmental conditions and/or poor equipment. Although they are similar, sprains and strains are not the same.

A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments and is common in joints like the ankle. Symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, limited movement in the affected joint, and in some cases, an audible “pop” in the joint when the injury occurs.

A sprain occurs when stress is put on a joint and the ligament in that joint is overextended or torn. An ankle sprain can occur when walking or exercising on an uneven surface. Pivoting during an athletic activity can result in a knee sprain, and falling and landing with an outstretched hand can cause a wrist sprain. These are some of the most commonly reported sprain injuries.

A strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon and is common in the lower back and hamstring muscles. Strains can cause pain, swelling, muscle spasms and limited ability to move the affected muscle.

There are two types of strains: acute and chronic. Acute strain occurs when a muscle is pulled or even torn doing activities like running or jumping, lifting a heavy object or slipping and falling. A chronic strain results from the prolonged, repetitive movement of a muscle during sports like gymnastics, tennis, rowing or golf.

Treatment for a sprain or strain depends on the joint involved and the severity of the injury. Mild and even moderate sprains and strains can typically be treated at home with rest, ice, compression, elevation and an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Mild or moderate sprains or strains may require a brace or splint to immobilize the area.

A severe sprain or strain might require surgery to repair the torn tissue. If you suffer a sprain or strain and can’t walk more than a few steps without significant pain, cannot move the affected joint or experience numbness in the injured area, it’s time to see a doctor.

To minimize your risk of sprains and strains, try to keep your body in good physical condition, especially if you are playing a particular sport. Trying to play a sport when you are out of shape can put you at greater risk of injury. Protect your joints through strengthening and conditioning exercises, including stretching and stability exercises. Good shoes that offer support for your feet can also help prevent injury.