♦ What Are Sprains and Strains
A strain is when soft tissue is stretched or “tweaked”. A sprain is when a ligament is ruptured. Another way to say it is a partial tear is a strain and a full tear is a sprain. In the body, bones are mostly connected by ligaments. Ligaments are made from collagen. Collagen is the building blocks of the white tissues in the body. These fibers are woven in different shapes and strengths to hold us together.
Without ligaments we would be a bag of bones. Tendons are also made from collagen but woven and function differently. Tendons move things while ligaments hold things together.
A sprain happens when 2 bones or other structures separate to such a degree that the ligament ruptures. For instance, when we “twist” our ankle the ligament may partially tear causing a strain or fully tear causing a sprain. A third phenomenon can take place. That is a fracture. A fracture happens when the trauma is such that the bone breaks instead of the ligament. In many cases it is just a slight difference in the position of the body that will cause a sprain rather than a sprain.