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A sprain is very different from a strain of the muscle, however, both can be equally painful and unbearable. A strain is a kind of injury to the muscles or ligaments surrounding the muscles, or it could be a simple overstretching of muscles. On the other hand, a sprain is slightly more serious, in a sense that when you have a sprain, there could be a tear on the muscle or ligament.

This form of injury is very common among athletes or people who are very active in sports. Even those who engage in strenuous activities or rigorous actions throughout the day can experience it. A sprain is a result of either a fall, a blow, forceful exertion or a twist of the muscles or limbs. Normally, when you fall, you tend to land on your outstretched arms or maybe land on the wrong footing. When you twist in this accidental manner, the result could be a strain on the muscle that could result in a tear.

A muscle twist of this manner usually occur in the lower body, more accurately, the ankles. More than 25,000 people in the United States alone experience a sprain or strain of their ankle each day every year. This is, without a smidgen of a doubt, an alarming figure. Therefore, those who engage in exercise, sporting events or have to undergo strenuous activities in the line of duty are advised to take good care of their bodies and ensure that safety precautions have not been overlooked. Other parts of the body that is susceptible to muscle injury are the knee, elbow and wrists. Essentially, if you look at it, the most common site injuries are the joints. The neck muscles are also very vulnerable part of the body.

Itís not surprising to note that some people donít even realize that thereís an injury to their ligaments unless pointed out by their physicians. This is because the pain caused by the sprain is sometimes quite subtle and if someone is busy throughout the day, the slight discomfort is not noticed at all.

However, some strains have a more significant impact on the mobility and efficiency of the sufferer. Symptoms like swelling, pain, bruising, instability, inability to balance oneself, inflexibility, severe pain are more disturbing signs of a sprain. The effect and symptoms of the injury varies from one person to another and most need not have to go through Sprains. Light medication and rest is all that is needed to nurse the muscle back into action.

Although a strain like this is not a cause for concern, you should consider paying your doctor a visit if you experience immense pain and discomfort or have problems putting any weight at all on the injured site. Worse yet, if the site of injury looks swollen, crooked, has lumps or bumps, you should consult your doctor. Generally speaking, if mobility and flexibility becomes an issue, a visit to the doctor is advisable.

For those who have less serious problems, DIY treatments can be used Ė for example, Gel ice packs, reusable ice packs, rest, compression and elevation and perhaps consume some over-the-counter medication to help relieve some of the pain. In time, the injured limb will resolve itself.
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