Sprain or Strain? What’s the Difference?

I get this question all the time: “Dr. Jeanette, what’s the difference between a sprain and strain?”

Before I can answer that, I need to review a bit of terminology:

ligament is soft tissue that connects bone to bone. A sprain is an injury to the ligament.

tendon is soft tissue that connects muscle to bone. A strain is an injury to the muscle or to the tendon.

 

The severity of a sprain is graded as I, II, or III.

  • Grade I Sprain = an overstretched but not torn ligament- you will feel discomfort and may see mild swelling but you can usually put weight on it; Example: “I rolled my ankle.”
  • Grade II Sprain = a partial tear of the ligament – you will feel more pain than a Grade I, see swelling present with bruising due to broken blood vessels and torn tissue, and you will most likely not be able to put full weight on it; Example: “I twisted my knee.”
  • Grade III Sprain =...
Continue Reading...
Close

“Fill Out The Form To Get YOUR Special Report That Answers The 48 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Therapy” (...It’s Currently FREE!)

Leave Your Details And Get All This Information NOW...