Sprains vs. Strains

By General Info

Sprains and strains are common injuries that share very similar signs and symptoms.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments — this is strong tissue that connects two bones together in your joints. The most common location for a sprain is in your ankle, knees, and wrist
A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. Strains often occur in the lower back and in the hamstring muscle in the back of your legs.
Initial treatment for both sprains and strains includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Severe sprains and strains sometimes require surgery to repair torn ligaments, muscles or tendons.

Tendons and Ligaments

Both tendons and ligaments are part of the musculoskeletal system and each serve an important function to the joints and bones. They are both made up of dense, layered collagen fibers which are commonly referred to as fibrous connective tissue. Although these two tissues are mutually exclusive, many people tend to confuse the two.

Tendons are fibrous connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and aid in the movement of bones by transferring force from the muscle to the bone. Essentially, tendons are what allow us to move. An example is the Achilles tendon, which connects the muscles of the calf to the heel bone.

Ligaments are essentially connectors, linking bone to bone and helping stabilize joints. These joints allow for complex and simple motions throughout the body, and ligaments come in different shapes and sizes to aid in support, strength, and stabilization


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