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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between A Muscle Sprain And A Strain

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What are the differences between a muscle sprain and a strain?

What are the differences between a muscle sprain and a strain?

Joints can sprain: A muscle "strain" is when muscle fibers get stretched too far and/or some fibers tear. People generally call it a tear if enough fibers break, leading to some bleeding and swelling inside the muscle, resolving later with some healed scar tissue and some tightness in the area (less elastic). A joint sprains when its ligaments (whitish fibers) are stretched too far and break. Muscles don't "sprain". ...Read more

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Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more


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Is there a difference between a muscle strain and sprain? what is the treatment for both? I injured my thigh muscle working out.

Is there a difference between a muscle strain and sprain? what is the treatment for both? I injured my thigh muscle working out.

Difference: A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament. A strain is an injury to a muscle and/or tendons. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are used to address both types of injuries(for the most part.) But the nuance of treatment really depends on the exact nature of your injury. ...Read more

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How soon after a muscle strain or sprain can I begin exercising?

How soon after a muscle strain or sprain can I begin exercising?

Full motion- no pain: Muscle control motion across joints. A strain represents a local injury to part or all of a muscle belly. Motion is usually somewhat limited after a significant strain due to pain with stretching of the injured muscle belly. Once the strained muscle is painfree to touch (palpation) and the arc of motion controlled by the injured muscle returns to normal, you can begin exercising that muscle group. ...Read more

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I sprained my ankle about a year an a half ago. It is still bothering me. The doctor I went to today said it was a muscle strain. Isn't that too long ?

I sprained my ankle about a year an a half ago. It is still bothering me. The doctor I went to today said it was a muscle strain. Isn't that too long ?

Follow up.: Muscle strains usually shouldn't last more than 2 weeks. If they do further workup with imaging that includes x-rays, MRIs, can help. Orthopedic surgeon, and physical therapy options are also available. Most commonly after trauma, arthritis is usually a complication that is chronic in nature. X-rays can usually identify this cause. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a muscle sprain and a muscle strain? I've been using ibuprofen and heat (my quad) - any other advice?

What is the difference between a muscle sprain and a muscle strain? I've been using ibuprofen and heat (my quad) - any other advice?

Ligament vs tendon: A sprain is tearing or stretching a ligament (connects bone to bone) or joint capsule, when a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion. A strain is tearing or stretching a tendon or muscle structure (connects muscle to bone). Initial treatment is rest, ice, compression, elevation (rice). After 24-48 hours heat can relax muscle spasm. Rehab is important to maintain strength & flexibility. ...Read more

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What is the difference between the neck pain in meningitis and a simple muscle strain?

What is the difference between the neck pain in meningitis and a simple muscle strain?

Tension signs: With meningitis one also sees a positive kernig sign. The patient is on their back and the leg is lifted up and straightened. This stretches the dura. If it is inflammed from meningitis lifting the the leg will cause neck pain while in a neck strain it should not. If there is fever, chills, light sensitivity oyou would also suspect meningitis. If present take this person to the er. ...Read more

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How can you tell the difference between a blood clot and a muscle strain when you have mild calf pain?

How can you tell the difference between a blood clot and a muscle strain when you have mild calf pain?

Calf pain: Strain is usually caused my a history of trauma. Very localized tenderness and swelling.Blood clots in the calf typically present with widespread swelling ,tenderness, increase in pain with squeezing the whole calf but can only be diagnosed by testing. Currently tested by a Doppler study. Many times the calf pain produced by a clot increases with time. ...Read more

Dr. Peter Ihle
1,093 doctors shared insights

Sprains And Strains (Definition)

Sprains and strains are conditions in which a person has problems with his muscles (strains) and joints (sprains), such as pain, swelling, fractures, restricted movement, or joint instability, due to trauma or excessive exercise. The treatment ...Read more


Dr. Payam Rafat
1,107 doctors shared insights

Sprain (Definition)

Sprain is also known as Sprains and strains. A sprain is an injury that results from excessive stretching of a ligament, which is a tough band that connects bone to bone and holds joints in place. Rapid swelling and pain ...Read more