Sprains & Strains

Overview

Sprains and strains are very common injuries that share very common causes and symptoms. However, they both involve different parts of the body.

Sprain

A sprain occurs when ligaments are stretched or torn beyond their normal range. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect bone to bone. Sprains occur in the ankles, knees, wrists, and thumbs. The ankle is the most common joint to be sprained.

Strain

A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn beyond its normal range. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.  The lower back and hamstrings are the most common muscles to be strained.

Causes

Sprains often occur while walking or exercising on an uneven surface, quickly pivoting during a physical activity, landing on an outstretched hand during a fall, skiing, or playing racquet sports. Strains often occur due to slipping on ice, running, jumping, throwing, lifting heavy objects, or lifting in an awkward position.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, limited ability to move the injured joint, and a loud “pop” at the time the injury occurs. Symptoms of a strain include pain, swelling, muscle spasms, and a limited ability to move the affected muscle.

Treatment

Treatment of sprains and strains depend no the severity of the injury and the joint or muscle involved. In mild to moderate cases of sprains and strains, rest and ice is sufficient treatment. In severe sprains and strains, immobilization with a brace or splint may be necessary. In rare cases of a severely torn ligament or a ruptured muscle, surgery may be needed.

OrthoNeuro Physicians that Treat this Condition:
  •  
    Carl Berasi, DO

    Carl C. Berasi, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
  •  
    Michael Cannone, DO

    Michael B. Cannone, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
  •  
    Dr. Nick Cheney, 2016 Recipient of the Recent Graduate Award from OUHCOM

    Nicholas A. Cheney, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Foot & Ankle Surgery
  •  

    B. Rodney Comisar, M.D.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
  •  

    Timothy P. Duffey, D.O.

    Orthopedic Physician

    Orthopedics, Sports Medicine
  •  

    Jeffrey E. Gittins, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Foot & Ankle Surgery
  •  
    Knee and Hip Seminar

    Mark E. Gittins, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
  •  

    Ryan D. Klinefelter, M.D.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Hand & Elbow Surgery
  •  

    Keith A. LaDu, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
  •  

    Sandy Lane, M.D., F.A.C.S.M.

    Sports Medicine Primary Care Physician

    Orthopedic Urgent Care, Sports Medicine
  •  
    Orthopedic Surgeon Jeremy Mathis, DO

    Jeremy R. Mathis, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
  •  

    Gary M. Millard, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Hand & Elbow Surgery
  •  

    Robert J. Nowinski, D.O., FAOAO

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Shoulder Surgery
  •  

    Desmond J. Stutzman, D.O.

    Orthopedic Surgeon

    Hand & Elbow Surgery
  •  

    Robert D. Whitehead, M.D.

    Medical Director, Orthopedic Urgent Care

    Orthopedic Urgent Care