Disclaimer: This is a web visitor article. It is their views and we do not necessarily stand behind their views. Re-leaf LLC doesn’t support all the writer’s views as each article is written by a consumer. Please submit your articles at www.re-leaf.llc/article
Sprain and strain not only sound the same but also have somewhat similar symptoms and, therefore, are often confused. Both injuries result in damaged tissues and are most familiar to athletes and sportspeople. However, there are some significant dissimilarities between that can develop a better understanding of the difference among both.
- Also known as muscle pull, a strain occurs due to an overstretched, torn or twisted muscle or tendon. Muscles are a group of tissues responsible for performing the most basic functions of motion and force. Meanwhile, tendons are a band of connective tissues that join muscles to bones. The most common areas for a strain to occur are the hamstring muscles at the rear of thighs and back. Elbow strains are also common in people participating in sports involving racquet.
- Sprains occur as a result of a wrench or torn ligaments, which are bands of tissues dedicated to connecting bones to the cartilage or other bones in a joint. The most common areas where the sprain occurs are the ankle and knee. Ankle sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries among athletes. Besides the ankle, sprains can also occur at either upper or lower body parts.
- A strain can occur due to twisting or any damage to the tendons or muscles. Such damage is commonly due to an injury, blow, or trauma to the body. Lifting weights in an improper manner or over-stressing your body muscles can contribute to the acute strain. Meanwhile, chronic strain develops over time due to prolonged incorrect tissue and body movement.
- A factor that, to some extent, distinguishes sprain from strain is how the sprain occurs. A sprain usually occurs due to a quick muscle movement, fall, or sudden twist such as pivoting. Such actions can force the ligaments out of their usual domain of movements. Consequently, the ligament overstretches and, therefore, gets damaged. It’s not necessarily a physical injury that causes a sprain, but any overstretched action such as outstretching your arm or leg, etc. can contribute to sprain.
- Common strain symptoms encompass muscle spasms, pain, and swelling around the affected area. The patient may also experience soreness, inflammation around the muscle, and limited flexibility. Muscle weakness and disabled muscle movement are also among the common strain symptoms. A sprain can partially or sometimes wholly tear the targeted muscle. That results in overwhelming pain and disabling.
- The primary symptoms of a sprain include swelling, limited joint movement, bruising, and pain, sometimes severe. Another substantial difference between sprain and strain is that sprain results in bruising around the compromised joint meanwhile strain causes spasms in the damaged muscle. These symptoms may vary in severity depending upon the intensity of the sprain.
Sprains and strains have a similar treatment to quite an extent. The treatment begins with a general procedure to reduce pain and swelling. That involves the common ‘RICE’ technique that stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This step is followed by the prescription of some over-the-counter pain killer pills by the doctor. These pills contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin to reduce the pain and control the swelling. Severe strain and sprain may require surgery to heal the damaged muscles or ligaments.
Final Words For mild sprain and strains, it can take somewhere from 3 days to 1 week to heal. Meanwhile, moderate to severe strain and sprains can take three to six weeks to recover fully. With proper rest and acute care, one can overcome the pain and disability much faster. To prevent such injuries and damage in the future, we can opt for a healthy diet to strengthen muscle and never forget to warm up before a workout or sports.