You might have been playing football when you feel a sharp pain in your ankle, and it hurts to walk on it. This could be one of three options, a sprain, strain, or a break. Most people hope it is not a break, and a strain is a better option compared to a sprain. The issue is that the pain between all three might feel almost exactly the same, so it is important to know how to identify the difference between a sprain, strain and a break.

Strains

Tendons are cords of tissue that connect your muscles and bones. When you strain a muscle, you are pulling, twisting, or tearing your muscle or tendon. Strains can actually happen from over-exercising. The main symptoms of a strain are pain, muscle spasms, swelling, inflammation, weakness, and cramping. Usually, a muscle strain is not as severe as either a sprain or a break. You do not need to visit a healthcare professional in the event of a strain.

Sprains

Your ligaments are the tissues connecting 2 bones together. They make sure your body is stabilized and support all of your joints. When you stretch or tear a ligament, you sprain it. This usually happens when falling, twisting, or getting hit. There are a few variations of sprains from mild to severe. Sometimes there is a tear or popping feeling in your joint. Common side effects are pain, bruising, swelling, and inflammation. It is not necessary to see a healthcare professional in the event of a sprain. Still, depending on the severity you may want to.

Breaks

Your bones can be broken, chipped, or fractured. This is one of the most intense injuries that take longer to heal than strains or most sprains. When cutting a bone, you will not be able to put any weight on that part of your body. You will most likely know it is a break or fracture when the pain does not get better. Symptoms including intense swelling, high levels of anxiety, and possible bone deformity. Numbness, weakness, or poor circulation are indicators of a severe injury. There are cases in which you may not realize you have a break, which can lead to worse injuries and complications. If you suspect you have broken a bone, always contact a healthcare professional.

Although not all injuries warrant an emergency, some injuries can be a very serious matter. For more information, please contact us now at 508.650.6208