Sprains and strains: Causes

Runner with ankle pain

Understand how sprains and strains occur

Knowing the causes of sprains and strains can help you identify them, and therefore guide you to the most appropriate management approach for your patient.

Man holding knee

Sprains and strains have specific causes

Soft-tissue injury involves a sprain, strain, or direct blow to a muscle, tendon, and/or ligament.1,2

  • Sprains are caused by abnormal or excessive force applied to a joint1,2
  • Strains occur when a muscle is stretched beyond its limit or has contracted too strongly1,2
  • Overuse injuries, from repetitive friction, pulling, twisting, or compression may also occur1,2
Woman playing tennis

Sport is a common cause of sprains and strains, but not the only one

Soft-tissue injuries are common in sports.3 Muscle strains or overuse injuries account for ~50% of all injuries suffered during sport.4,5

However, these injuries can also occur during simple, everyday activities that could lead to over-stretching, tripping, or falling.6

Risk factors for sprains and strains

Understanding sprains and strains

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Signs and symptoms

Explore how to recognize acute sprains and strains and learn when a referral to a doctor is necessary.

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Management icon


Learn how acute sprains and strains can be managed.

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Overview of acute back and neck pain

Learn more about acute back and neck pain and meet two patients experiencing these types of acute pain.

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Voltaren products

Voltaren products

Help your patients manage their acute, localized muscle, joint and back pain with our pain-relieving topical products.8,9

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Diclofenac Mechanism of Action

Access information to discover how diclofenac works.

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Advil — for all your patients’ acute pain relief needs

With proven efficacy in acute pain and a well-established safety profile — you can trust the pain relief of ibuprofen in Advil.10

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