Jul 01

Differences Between an Ankle Strain and an Ankle Sprain

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Common Foot Problems

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The ankle strain vs ankle sprain debate has confused people for several years. While they’re nothing alike, it sometimes can be hard to tell the difference between a strain and a sprain. A sprain occurs when you stretch or tear your ligaments. You can treat a mild sprain at home, while you may need surgery to help repair a torn ligament from a severe sprain.  

Carrying on with the ankle strain vs ankle sprain debate, a strain happens when you sprain the bands of tissues that connect the bones in that area. It can damage the muscle or tissue that connects the bone to the muscle. While a strain is also stretching or tearing of that area if often happens in the muscle or tendon area. Here are the common signs of sprains and strains, and what to do when it becomes serious.  


The symptoms among sprains and strains will vary on how severe the problem is. But the most common symptoms include bruising, pain, and swelling. You may notice that there’s limited movement in the affected area. If you sprain or strain your ankle, you may hear a popping sound in the joint area at the time of the injury or accident.  


Sprains happen when you overuse a ligament while baring stress or weight onto it. Sprains often take place in the ankle, knee, thumb, or wrist area. Children are more prone to fractures than sprains they have an increase in softer tissues, known as growth plates, that are located on the bones. Since the ligaments surrounding the joint is stronger than the growth plates, children are more likely to have a fracture than a sprain.  

Risk Factors 

There are several risk factors associated with sprains and strains. Some of those risk factors depend on environmental conditions, fatigue, and poor equipment.  


Strengthening and stretching your muscles for fitness, sport, or work activities can prevent your risk of sprains and strains. This involves staying in shape and following your exercise routine. However, you shouldn’t participate in a sport in an effort to stay in shape. If your job is physically demanding, then regular conditioning exercises can reduce your risk of injuries.  

You can also prevent strains and sprains by conditioning and strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint that was hurt. What you should do is invest in a muscle brace. Your doctor can also provide examples of conditioning and stability exercises. You should also wear footwear that offers protection and support of your ligaments and bones.  

When to See Your Doctor 

There are several situations in which you need to talk to your doctor after spraining or straining your ankle. While you can treat a sprain at home, it could lead to other problems like fractures. You should book an appointment with Dr. Pedram Aslmand immediately if you experience numbness in the affected area. You should also see your doctor if the affected joint doesn’t move, or you experience pain on the bone of that injured joint.  

In addition, The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has listed several ways to prevent strains and sprains. This involves avoiding falls, maintaining a healthy weight, and wearing the right equipment for the sport you play.