Common Sports Injuries: Sprains And Strains

Playing sports can be a great way to get your daily exercise. They can be exhilarating to play and fun to watch. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Sports injuries can send anyone, no matter how fit, to the sideline. One of the most common categories of injuries is soft tissue. Within this category, two types stand out: sprains and strains.


Soft-tissue injuries may be classified as either acute or overuse. The latter occurs when the actions are of a repetitive nature not allowing the body to heal or recuperate between the actions. Basic types of overuse injuries are tendinitis and bursitis.
Acute injuries result from a sudden trauma. The body may receive a physical blow, it may twist or fall, thus producing such common injuries as contusions as well as sprains and strains.

Sprains and Strains

Strains and sprains, like other soft tissue injuries, most commonly occur to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Sprains affect the ligaments. They tear or stretch them. A sprain happens most frequently to:




In all cases, medical professionals classify them according to the severity of the injury.

Mild. Mild sprains fall into Grade 1 type. The damage and stretching to the fibrils of the ligament are slight.

Moderate. With Grade 2 sprains the ligaments exhibits partial tearing and abnormal laxity in the joint.

Severe. Grade 3 sprains exhibit a complete tear of the ligament. The affected part becomes instable and the joint is nonfunctional.

Common characteristics for all classes of sprains are bruising, pain and swelling.

Strains do not affect the ligaments, they affect muscle and/or tendons. They involve the foot, leg or back. Such injuries may be a partial or complete tear with accompanying inflammation, swelling, cramping muscle spasms or weakness and, inevitably, pain.


For both mild strains and sprains, early treatments usually consist of the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Physical therapy – involving the performance of simple exercises, and bracing may also be recommended if the problem is moderate. Only in severe cases, as in the case of a tear, will your medical professional recommend surgery.

Sports Injuries

Every day, professional, amateur and weekend athletes damage their bodies. The injuries may be slight. A bruise or a scrape may mar their body. In serious instances, soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains may occur. Even if the damage is mild, it is important to contact a professional to help ease the pain and prevent further damage from occurring. However, even with the right treatment, soft tissue sports injuries may still require a lengthy period before completely healing.

If you are wondering about who best to trust with your sports injuries, contact the professionals at Suburban Orthopaedics. For more than 25 years, their medical staff has worked with dedication to provide high-quality orthopaedic care to their patients. Their focus has always been the needs of their patients. To this end, they have continued to provide them with the best and most complete health care available.

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