Sprains and strains are common injuries that share similar signs and symptoms, but involve different parts of your body. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments — the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones together in your joints. The most common location for a sprain is in your ankle. A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Strains often occur in the lower back and in the hamstring muscle in the back of your thigh.
- A sprain involves the overstretching or tearing of the ligaments, which are the fibrous connective tissues that connect bones to each other and stabilize them.
- A strain is the overstretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon, which are the fibers that connect the muscles to the bones
- Tears are the ripping of fibrous tissue that can occur in the ligaments, muscles or tendons from similar activities that cause fibers to overstretch
"Swelling is often the body's first reaction for healing an injury."