Sprains & Strains

Sprains and strains share similar symptoms, but involve different connective tissues. They are common sports injuries and on the job injuries.

Sprains and Strains

A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments in a joint. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones together. The most common injury is a sprained ankle. A severe sprain can result in a torn ligament.

A strain is a stretching or tearing of tendon or muscle. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Strains often occur in the lower back and in the hamstring muscle in the back of the thigh.


Symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and can include:

  • Pain, swelling or bruising in the injured area
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited ability to move the affected muscle or joint

More severe symptoms include:

  • Hearing or feeling a “pop” in the joint when the injury occurs
  • Can’t walk more than four steps without significant pain
  • Can’t move the affected joint
  • Have pain directly over the bones of an injured joint
  • Have numbness in any part of the injured area


Mild sprains and strains will heal with treatment, while more severe injuries may require surgery to repair torn ligaments, tendons or muscles. Additionally, the type of injures that cause sprains and strains can also cause fractures.

Before visiting Go To Ortho, you can provide initial treatment at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation.

The Most Common Injuries

Injuries disrupt life. Significant injuries can happen without warning at work, at home or while playing sports.

If you’re hurt on the job, it’s important to report it to your employer right away, and to seek treatment as soon as possible.

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At Go To Ortho, we understand that a sports injury doesn’t just interrupt the game, it interrupts your life.

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Falls are the number one cause of home injuries in the U.S.

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