Sprains and strains: Causes
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.
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
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
The greatest risk factor for a soft-tissue injury is a previous injury1,7
Healthcare professionals should consult their protocols and recommend what they deem as the appropriate approach for resuming activity.