People often interchange the terms sprains and strains when talking about injuries but there is a difference. Read on and I hope I can clear it up...
Ligaments and tendons are both made up of fibrous connective tissue but they have different roles and functions.
- Ligaments attach bones to bones
- Ligaments help stabilise joint
- Ligaments are not very elastic
- Imagine a belt or strap connecting, for example, your shin and thigh bones
- Tendons attach muscles to bones
- Tendons help to move the joint and absorb some impact on the muscles
- Tendons are more elastic than ligaments but not as elastic as muscles
- Imagine tough bungee cords or straps, for example, your achilles tendon
Bearing the above in mind then the terms Sprains and Strains are used to differentiate between injuries:
- A Sprain is an overstretch or tear to a ligament
- Sprains commonly occur at the ankle, knee or wrist
- A Strain is an overstretch or tear to a muscle
- Strains commonly occur in the leg, arm or back