3 doctors weighed in:

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

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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".

In brief: 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".
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
Thank
Dr. Audie Rolnick
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: See below

Muscle fibers are injured that causes muscle strain.
Ligaments can be injured and the terminology is ligament sprain.

In brief: See below

Muscle fibers are injured that causes muscle strain.
Ligaments can be injured and the terminology is ligament sprain.
Dr. Audie Rolnick
Dr. Audie Rolnick
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Keegan Duchicela
Board Certified, Family Medicine
10 years in practice
16M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors