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Sprain & Strain

Definition :

A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. Falling, twisting, or getting hit can all cause a sprain. Ankle and wrist sprains are common. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising and being unable to move your joint. You might feel a pop or tear when the injury happens.

A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. Twisting or pulling these tissues can cause a strain. Strains can happen suddenly or develop over time. Back and hamstring muscle strains are common. Many people get strains playing sports. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and trouble moving the muscle.

Severity of Sprains and Strains :

A physician categorizes sprains and strains according to severity. A Grade I (mild) sprain or strain involves some stretching or minor tearing of a ligament or muscle. A Grade II (moderate) sprain or strain is a ligament or muscle that is partially torn but still intact. A Grade III (severe) sprain or strain means that the ligament or muscle is completely torn, resulting in joint instability.

Causes :

For Sprain : A common sprain is an injury we often call a 'twisted ankle.' This injury often occurs in activities such as running, hiking, and basketball. People will fall or step on an uneven surface (in basketball this is often another player's foot) and roll their foot to the inside. This stretches the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, called the talofibular and calcaenofibular ligaments.

For strain : Strains are injuries to muscles or the tendons that attach the muscles to your bones. By pulling too far on a muscle, or by pulling a muscle in one direction while it is contracting (called an 'eccentric contraction') in the other direction can cause injuries within the muscle or tendon. Strains can also be caused by chronic activities that develop an overstretching of the muscle fibers.

Common causes: Many sports place participants at risk for sprains and strains; these include football, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, and many others. These injuries also often occur in normal everyday activities such as a slip on ice, a fall on your wrist, or jamming a finger. Repetitive activities may also cause a sprain or strain.

Treatments :

Grade I injuries usually heal quickly with protect, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (PRICE). Therapeutic exercise can also help restore strength and flexibility. Grade II injuries are treated similarly but may require immobilization of the injured area to permit healing. Grade III sprains and strains usually require immobilization and possibly surgery to restore function. If symptoms gets worsened after 24hrs consult a doctor.


Standard physiotherapy included superficial heat, ultrasound, range of motion exercise, and strengthening and stretching exercises. Preventing Sprains and Strains: There are many things athletes can do to help lower their risk of muscle sprains and strains. Start by reviewing these 10 Tips for Safe Workouts

Perform balance and proprioception exercises. Practice prehabilitation exercises. Wear shoes that fit properly. Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the heel wears down on one side. Ease into any fitness routine and get into proper physical condition to play a sport. Warm up before participating in any sports or exercise. Wear protective equipment when playing. Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain. Run on even surfaces.