Sprains & Strains

People between the ages of 15-24 account for the highest number of recorded sprain/strain injuries

There are over 1.5 million sprain/strain related doctor encounters each year

The ankle is the most commonly sprained joint


Ligament or Muscle Injuries?

Ligament and muscle injuries, particularly sprains and strains are caused by minor trauma to a ligament, muscle or tendon following a sudden twist or jolt.



Sprains involve the tears of the connective tissue (ligaments) that holds joints together. Common sites for sprains include angles like thumbs and wrists. Treating a sprain usually involves resting and compressing the injured area – with, for example, Aero bandages – icing and elevation.

Watch the video to see how to treat strains or sprains.



Strains occur when a muscle tears suddenly and unexpectedly – usually due to fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a muscle. While a muscle strain can happen to any muscle, they are most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring. Treating a strain will depend on the severity of the injury.

How serious is the sprain/strain?

Because sprains and strains are tissue injuries, they are measured by the amount of tearing of the muscle.

Grade 1 – Some tearing

  • Moderately painful and swollen, with mostly unaffected strength and usability.
  • Usually treatable with rest, ice and elevation.

Grade 2 – Considerable tearing

  • Painful and swollen, with some reduced strength and usability.
  • Often treatable with rest, ice, elevation, bandaging and physiotherapy.

Grade 3 – Complete tearing

  • Severely painful and swollen with considerable loss of strength and usability.
  • Often only treatable with surgery.

More First Aid Posts


How do you treat a sprained ankle the right way?

Unfortunately, sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries and can occur anywhere from the workplace to the home, from the gym to just walking along a footpath. The good news is that when you are prepared, sprained ankles can be treated with relative ease, increasing your chances of a full recovery.
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