What is the difference between sprain and strain

What is the difference between sprain and strain ?


What is the difference between sprain and strain

Sprain or strain are two terms that have been used interchangeably since the dawn of mankind. If you’ve been using them incorrectly for a long time, this article could alter your mind once and for all. Stay with us till the end to clear your doubts all at once!

Sprain versus Strain

A sprain is a ligament(tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint) damage. Generally, one or more ligaments are strained or torn when a sprain occurs.

A strain is a muscular or tendon (fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone) injury; this implies that a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn in a strain.

The overstretching or ripping of ligaments causes a joint sprain. Ligaments are the tissue bands that hold two bones in a joint together. The ankle joint is the most typical site for a sprain.

Overstretching or tearing of tendons or muscles can result in joint strain. Tendons can be described as the thick fibrous tissue cords that join together the bones and muscles. 

Symptoms of Sprains and Strains-

What is the difference between sprain and strain

A sprain and a strain have very similar symptoms. This is because the injuries are quite similar. It’s no surprise that the two illnesses are commonly mixed up.

A sprain occurs when a joint is unexpectedly strained. Depending on how many tissue fibers are damaged, symptoms might be moderate or severe. Whereas a strain might occur suddenly but can develop into something major overtime.

What is the difference between sprain and strain

Symptoms of sprains

  •       Swelling
  •       Pain
  •       Mobility around the joint is restricted
  •       Bruising
  •   Inability to bear weight on or utilize the joint normally
  • At the time of the injury, there was a “popping” sound or feeling.

Symptoms of strains

  •       Bruising
  •       Tenderness or pain
  •       Cramps or muscle spasms
  •       Muscle wasting
  •       Swelling
  •     There is restricted movement in the region.


What is the difference between sprain and strain

Sprains and their causes

Falling, twisting, or sustaining joint trauma are the most common causes of sprains. These injuries can result in the joint shifting beyond its typical range of movement, potentially tearing or straining the ligament. 

Walking or sprinting on an uneven surface, twisting or turning unexpectedly, falling and landing on the wrist or hand when playing racquet sports, and accidents from contact sports are all possible causes of sprains.

Strains and their causes

Strains can develop quickly (acute) or slowly (chronic) (chronic). Acute strains can be caused by running or repeated movements. Lifting a large object, sprinting, jumping, or throwing, sliding, or falling are all causes of acute strains. 

Playing sports and hobbies that require repetitive motions, such as rowing, tennis, or jogging, can cause chronic strains. Chronic strains can also be caused by sitting or standing in an uncomfortable position for long periods.


Mild sprain or strain are both handled in the same way. RICE is the acronym for this method. RICE is an acronym for:

What is the difference between sprain and strain

  •     Rest: If possible, avoid using the afflicted joint while it recovers. This will allow the joint to recover properly.
  •   Ice aids in the reduction of edema and inflammation. Try to avoid applying ice straight to the skin and instead wrap it in a small towel or piece of clothing. Remove the ice after 20 minutes and leave it on the afflicted region for another 20 minutes. For the first 24 to 48 hours, repeat as much as possible.
  •     Compression will aid in the reduction of swelling. Wrap a bandage or trainer’s tape around the injured joint. Wrap not too tightly, though, or the blood supply may be cut off.
  •   Elevation: Keep the afflicted joint raised above your heart’s level. This will aid in the reduction of edema. If your knee or ankle has been injured, you may need to stay in bed or on the sofa for up to two days following your accident. If you can’t maintain it as high as your heart, you can keep it parallel to the earth.

RICE may make you more comfortable and lessen indications and symptoms for the first 24 to 48 hours following your accident. Surgery to repair damaged or torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles may be required for more severe strain or sprain.


Consult a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms as a result of your sprain or strain:

  • Walking or standing for long periods without discomfort
  • Unable to flex or rotate the afflicted joint
  • Numbness or tingling in the area of the joint



  • Regular conditioning and stability exercises can assist establish a strong skeletal structure and avoid injuries by strengthening muscles surrounding joints.
  • Warm-up appropriately before exercising: Warm up the muscles enhances their range of motion and helps to prevent connective tissue damage and rips.
  • Wear suitable footwear: Protecting the ankle and knee joints can be as simple as wearing shoes with sufficient support.
  • Surroundings’ check: Keeping an eye out for slick or uneven surfaces, as well as obstructions that might cause an accident, can help you avoid injury.
  • Breaks are important: Sitting or standing in one position for an extended period, or doing repeated movements, can cause muscular tension. People can stretch and take regular pauses to relieve muscular tension.
  • Although not all sprain or strain can be avoided, with proper management, people may guarantee that they do not result in long-term damage or difficulties.

~The bottom line is that sprain or strain both need to be avoided at any cost. They are two different things and both of them are unnecessary for humans. So, get up from that couch and move your body!

Hope this article would have answered the question What is the difference between sprain and strain, Thankyou!

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