A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. Falling, twisting, or getting hit can all cause a sprain. Ankle and wrist sprains are common. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising and being unable to move your joint. You might feel a pop or tear when the injury happens.
A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. Twisting or pulling these tissues can cause a strain. Strains can happen suddenly or develop over time. Back and hamstring muscle strains are common. Many people get strains playing sports. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and trouble moving the muscle.
At first, treatment of both sprains and strains usually involves resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage or device that compresses the area, and medicines. Later treatment might include exercise and physical therapy.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin DiseasesSource: MedlinePlus
Within all the people who go to their doctor with sprain or strain, 65% report having back pain, 55% report having neck pain, and 46% report having ankle pain. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of sprain or strain are ankle pain, although you may still have sprain or strain without those symptoms.
Patients with sprain or strain often receive radiographic imaging procedure, plain x-ray, application of splint, physical therapy exercises, cat scan of head, magnetic resonance imaging, orthopedic casting and traction; splints; and other wound care .
The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with sprain or strain include cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, metaxalone (skelaxin), orphenadrine (flexon), ketoprofen, diflunisal, aspirin / oxycodone, naloxone / pentazocine and aspirin / caffeine / orphenadrine .
Groups of people at highest risk for sprain or strain include age 15-29 years. On the other hand, age < 1 years almost never get sprain or strain.