Sprain vs. Strain

Difference Between Sprain and Strain Sprain refers to Ligamental injury when ligament is stretched beyond its limit, which…

Difference Between Sprain and Strain

Sprain refers to Ligamental injury when ligament is stretched beyond its limit, which can lead to tears. Most common sprain is when ankle is twisted. Strain happens due to tears in certain muscles due to stress. In the acute stage in both cases, the immediate result is fatigue that can only be cured by surgical reconstruction.

Some of the typical symptoms of sprains are :-

  1. Swelling and pain
  2. Pain in certain restricted areas
  3. Tightness [ #] discomforts and operation
  4. The loss of normal functioning limb
  5. Decreased elasticity of the ligaments

On the other hand, strain has different signs and symptoms: –

  1. Stiffness and pain
  2. Discoloration
  3. Bruising, and strange smells around the muscle.

A sprain is often the result of vigorous exercise such as walking, running and being active in sports like baseball and basketball. Often, individuals may step on the tip of rough surfaces that leads to bending of legs / feet. This leads to stretching of the Suspensory Ligament and the ankle. Other causes can be an awkward fall or car accident or some other type of accident with vehicles. On the other hand, strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon, which occurs due to stretching of the muscles or stretch of the muscles in the opposite direction.  Apart from this, strain can also occur as a result of rigorous exercise, the repetitive motions, heavy lifting, etc.

The two most common types of sprains are

Ankle sprain

Wrist sprain

Based on severity sprains may classify in six different levels, ie first (minimal sprain), other (Tearing of Suspensory Ligament), third (grated), fourth (Suspensory Ligament rupture), fifth (breach of all the surrounding bones) and sixth grade is (complete tear, or amputation ).

Types of strains:



Hamstring Strains

The strains of elbow and golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow

Grade I,II and  III are the degrees of severity of strain.


  1. A sprain is the Suspensory Ligament injury while the strain is damage to muscles or tendons.
  2.  Sprain leads to discomfort in moving and inflammation, but the strain results in discoloration, odor, and bruising.
  3. The most common are sprain of the wrist and ankle, common strains are of hamstrings and tennis elbow.


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