Sprains and strains are common injuries often resulting from physical activity. They can range from minor to severe, depending on the incident. Sprains occur at joints and affect ligaments, and strains affect muscles and sometimes the tendons which connect the muscles to the bone. One of the most common being the Ankle Sprain.
Sprains (pulled Ligaments) occur when a joint taken to the end of its range of motion, or beyond, while weight bearing. This places too much stress on the ligaments and leads to injury. A sprain can range from mild to severe. In severe cases, the ligament can actually rupture, causing major tissue damage and complete instability of the joint. Sprains usually occur by twisting or pivoting the joint, or from accidents or collisions. Sprains can occur at any joint but are very common around the ankle and knees. Sprains are usually noticeable when they occur and involve limited mobility, inflammation, pain, swelling, and bruising.
Strains (Pulled muscles) are caused when too much force is placed on a muscle and can range from mild, with minimal tearing, to severe, with significant tearing. They often occur during weight-bearing activities that stretch the muscle. Repetitive motions or working beyond the muscles physical ability can overuse the muscle leading to a strain. The movement or activity which cause the strain may be obvious or the symptoms may occur sometime after the activity has ceased. Strains can be acute (immediate) or chronic caused by repetitive movements. Symptoms include swelling, pain, muscle spasms, stiffness and cramping and could present as any combination of the symptoms.