SPrain vs STrain

February 25, 2016

These two words have often been used interchangably in common discussions of sports injury. Do you really understand the diffrence? When your fantasy league running back of power forward has a strain in his knee what does it mean? Or was that a sprained knee?


The docs at Highline Orthopedics put out a perfect blog definition of the two terms. 

"The difference between a sprain and a strain


A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon that can be caused by a recent injury or a prolonged over-stressing of the muscle. Strains usually occur in the back or hamstring muscles.


A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, which is the tissue that connects bone at a joint. Sprains are very common in wrists and ankles, but can also occur in feet, elbows, hands, and any ligament at a joint.


Treatment for strains and sprains are similar and will start with a suggested RICE therapy- rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To decrease pain and inflammation, your doctor will usually recommend this during the first 24-48 hours following an injury. From there you will need to improve the condition of the injury and restore function by working to regain strength and flexibility."


Sprains and strains can be occur at various levels of injruy. Minor injuries may benefit from basic rest and ice. Moderate and severe injuries may need more work attention. Contact doctors like those at Highline Orthopedics and come by for AltaPT for some physical therapy to help decrease the swelling and improve the stability around the joint. 

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