Sprains and Strains

Also known as: ankle sprain, ankle strain, wrist sprain, wrist strain, knee sprain, knee strain.

What are sprains and strains?

Sprains and strains are two related but slightly different injuries. If the ligaments, which are bands of tissue that connect the bones in a joint get stretched or torn, this is a sprain. If a muscle or tendon, which are the bands of tissue that connects muscles to bones get stretched or torn, this is known as a strain.

What causes sprains and strains?

Sprains and strain are caused by injuries, either from a direct impact to a joint or overuse of the joint due to a repetitive motion.

 

What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?

Pain, bruising, swelling, a popping sensation or difficulty moving or using the joint are common symptoms of sprains and strains. They can occur in the ankles, knees, wrists or other joints throughout the body.

What are sprains and strains care options?

Mild sprains and strains can be treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE) and over-the-counter medications. Braces or splints can help immobilize the injury while it heals. Physical therapy and stretching exercises can also help. In some instances, surgery may be required to repair the injury.


Reviewed by: Annie L Casta, MD

This page was last updated on: September 24, 2021 04:09 PM

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Ankle Strain/Sprain

An ankle strain is the pulling or tearing of a tendon, which connects muscle to bone. A sprain is a similar problem only occurring with a ligament, which connects bone to bone in the ankle. Learn more

Dislocations

When a joint in the body is injured in such a way that the bones are forced out of position, this is known as a dislocation. Learn more