Sprain Vs Strain – The Difference Between the Two

Hello, Today I am going to explain the difference between a sprain and a strain. Most people do not know the difference between the two.

A sprain is when a ligament is stretched or torn. A ligament is a fibrous tissue that attaches a bone to another bone. (Think LBB ligament = bone to bone). The medial collateral ligament in the knee connects the upper thigh (femur bone) to the lower leg (shinbone or tibia). It helps stabilize the joint and keeps things connected.Most sprains occur inside or outside a joint (Ex: knee, ankle, elbow, wrist, finger etc ..).

A Strain is when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. A tendon attaches muscle to bone. (Think MTB = muscle to bone). A strain usually occurs along the the long muscles of our body. The front (Quadriceps) and the back (Hamstring) muscles that run along the thigh bone are common sites for a strain. If you are running fast and suddenly feel a "pull" or tightness you may have strained a muscle.

Both a sprain and strain are graded in their severity:

A grade 1 = Mild, Mild stretching / tear

A grade 2 = Moderate stretching / tear

A grade 3 = Severe stretching or complete tear

In cases of a grade 3 tear, surgical intervention may be needed to restore the integrity of ligament, tendon or muscle involved. Remember, always seek a licensed professional to diagnose and treat an injury!

Basically a sprain involves a ligament and a joint and a strain involves a muscle and its tendon. I hope this information helps you understand a little bit more about our amazing body. So tell your friends. Let them know.They will think your smart. Enjoy today and everyday! Be well and smile 🙂