Sprains and strains, what's the difference

Published on 10th October 2016

sprain or strain?


People often confuse these injuries that relate to the muscular and skeletal systems which are part of our anatomy and physiology, but as a therapist it is important to know the difference.

In our skeletal system we have ligaments which are tough bands which hold the place where bones meet- the joint together. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. People will refer to a twisted ankle but this is usually a sprain. When we damage muscle or the end of the muscle that attaches to the bone it moves -the tendon, this is a strain.

The severity of the injury will determine the treatment, but it is always important to refer to an expert if you are not sure.

Physios and osteopaths are well versed in such injuries and sports massage therapists who have studied our anatomy and physiology course are also able to treat minor injury.


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