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How Do Sprains and Strains Differ?

The difference is explained by the Moji Experts

Kathy Weber, M.D., M.S.
Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine and Women’s Sports Medicine
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, IL


What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?  Are you more susceptible to either due to your age?


A sprain is an injury to a ligament or the joint capsule. A ligament is a thick, tough, fibrous tissue that connects one bone to another bone. Stretching or tearing of a ligament can result in a sprain. This occurs when the ligament is stretched beyond its normal length. Sprains occur at any age but are commonly seen in adolescents, young and middle-aged adults. Common injured ligaments are in: the ankle, knee and wrist.

A strain is stretching or partial tearing of a muscle or tendon. Muscles are attached to bones by tendons. Strains commonly result from a sudden stretch on a muscle that is actively contracting. Strains can occur at any age but are common in middle-aged and older adults.


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