Many people confuse the phrases sprain and tear; while they are both injuries, they are not the same. Learn more about each of these common sports injuries and how to recognise them by reading on.
A sprain occurs when a ligament is overstretched or torn as a result of a fall, a joint twisting, or an injury to the body. Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue that connects bones; ligaments normally hold joints together to give stability
Depending on the severity of the injury, sprains can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to heal. Mild to severe sprains can occur
- A mild sprain occurs when the damaged ligament is stretched but the joint remains stable. - A moderate sprain occurs when the ligament is partially ripped but not totally separated from the bone. As a result, the joint becomes unstable. - A severe sprain occurs when the torn or detached ligament is fully ripped or separated from the bone.
- During an injury, you may hear or feel a 'pop' in your joint.
- Pain that is restricted to one area
- Swelling and inflammation
- Range of motion is restricted
Tears occur when a ligament, tendon, or muscle's fibrous tissue is ripped. Tears can be caused by the same movements that cause sprains, but they are a more dangerous injury. While mild tears might mend in a few weeks, serious tendon and muscle tears can take months to recover. Minor tears may be treated with rest and therapy, but more serious tears may require surgery.
- Sudden, excruciating pain
- During the injury, there was a "pop" sound.
- The sensation of a sloppy joint
- Impossibility of bearing weight on the afflicted area
- Bruising that occurs right away
- The damaged joint is immobile.
- Visual impairment