Sprain or Strain? RICE and see a doctor!

People often use the terms interchangeably, but sprains and strains are not the same. A SPRAIN refers to an injury, over-stretch or tearing of a ligament, which attaches bone to bone. A STRAIN involves injury to a tendon or muscle. A tendon attaches muscle to bone.

Symptoms can be similar:

  • Sprain symptoms can include pain, swelling, and bruising. Loss of function is sometimes experienced.

  • With strains, people often experience pain, muscle weakness, spasms, and a loss of muscle function.

Treatment for both is similar: RICE method





Seek medical attention for sprains and strains when:

  1. You experience severe pain

  2. You cannot put weight on the injured joint

  3. The injured area looks deformed

  4. There is numbness over the injured area

  5. You cannot move the injured limb or body part