sprained OR strained (knee)


Just a fragment from a text ‘Dealing with a sport injury’:

…Apply using an ice pack or even a bag of frozen pears wrapped in a towel. Keep in on the sprain or strain for 15 minutes and repeat several times in the first 48 hours. If the swelling and pain do not disappear, …

sprain OR strain…

Even though I’ve had a long look :slight_smile: in dictionaries (not medical, though)
strain - an injury to a muscle or similar soft part of the body caused by using that part too much
to sprain - to cause an injury to a joint in the body by a sudden movement. He hasn’t broken anything - it’s just a bad sprain.

But still…

© Knee Pain and Problems. Orthopaedic Surgery

…and I have some vague feeling that in everyday life strained knee can be just a less precise way to refer to sprained knee. Or to both cases. :slight_smile:
Or use ‘sprain OR strain’ as a fixed expression.

Of course, I can be completely wrong with that.

How do you distinctively use sprain and strain in ordinary life?
strained knee vs sprained knee

Hi Tamara

To me, a ‘strain’ can be an injury that is a result of overuse, misuse or repetitive use. We also talk about “eye strain”, for example.

As your dictionary stated, I would consider a ‘sprain’ to be the result of a (one!) sudden and extreme (and/or unusual) bending of a joint. I do not think it’s possible to “sprain your eye”.

But, then again, I’m not a medical expert. :wink:


– So let’s try a medical dictionary:

[i]What Is the Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain?

A sprain is an injury to a ligament–a stretching or a tearing. One or more ligaments can be injured during a sprain. The severity of the injury will depend on the extent of injury to a single ligament (whether the tear is partial or complete) and the number of ligaments involved.

A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon. Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result in a partial or complete tear.[/i]

Thank you, Amy and Mister Micawber.

(Even though I, with my language level, cannot clearly distinguish ‘stretching’ and ‘overstretching’, and ‘ligament’ and ‘tendon’… :))

Now I have better undestanding of the difference - thank Amy’s example with ‘eyes’.
[size=84]…but can I (or anyone else) still have ‘sprained brains? look/view’? [/size]:))

There’s also “brain drain”…

Mr Mic has given us a fundamental difference: injury of ligaments vs injury of muscles and/or tendons.

A strain is exactly what it sounds like: a muscle that has been stretched too far. It’s common for people to strain the muscles in their backs, necks, or legs, whereas a sprain happens when those ligaments have been overstretched (mild sprain) or torn (severe sprain). Ankles, wrists, and knees sprain easily.
Strains are not as serious as sprains.
A strain is pain in the muscle, it may start to hurt immediately or several hours later.A sprain will probably start to hurt right away.