Sprain versus Strain
A sprain is an injury to a ligament or joint capsule. A ligament is a thick, tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones together. Commonly injured ligaments are found in the spine, ankle, knee, and wrist.
Ligaments are often injured when they are stretched beyond their natural limit (i.e. too far from their normal position) and they lose their ability to stabilize the joint. The purpose of having ligaments is to hold your skeleton in a normal alignment — ligaments prevent abnormal movements. However, when too much force is applied to a ligament, such as in a fall, the ligaments can be stretched or torn; this injury is called a sprain.
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Tendons are connective tissue that attach muscle to bone. Commonly injured tendons are in the shoulder, back and neck, achilles, and elbow. Strains commonly occur due to repetitive overuse or traumatic injury.
Both sprains and strains are categorized based on the severity of their injury from Grade 1-5. A Grade 5 sprain/strain is a complete rupture and often requires surgical intervention.
As multimodal chiropractors, we are trained and equipped to treat sprains and strains of any nature.
Have a great day,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic