Sprains and strains: Causes

Man holding leg

Understand how sprains and strains occur

Knowing the causes of sprains and strains can help you identify these injuries, and therefore guide you to the most appropriate treatment for your patient.

Man holding back

Sprains and strains have specific causes

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

  • 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
Man playing tennis

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

Soft-tissue injuries are common in sport.1,2 Indeed, muscle strains or overuse injuries account for around 50% of all injuries suffered during sport.3,4

However, these injuries can also occur through simple, everyday activities like over-stretching, tripping and falling or playing with the kids.2,3

Risk factors for sprains and strains

Understanding sprains and strains

Signs and symptoms icon

Signs and symptoms

Explore an overview of how to recognise sprains and strains and when to refer patients.

Find out more

Management icon


Learn how sprains and strains can be managed.

Find out more

Joint and OA pain

Overview of joint and osteoarthritic pain

Find out about how joint and osteoarthritic pain are, and meet two patients with joint pain.

Find out more

Learn more

Voltaren Triple Effect 1.16% Emulgel

Voltaren Triple Effect 1% Emulgel

Voltaren Emulgel is indicated for the external treatment of pain, inflammation and swelling in:6

  • Injuries of the tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints e.g. sparins, bruises, strains and back pain.6
  • Localized forms of soft tissue rheumatism.6
  • and for symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis of small and medium-sized joints located close to the skin.6

Learn more

Learning Lab

Learning Lab

Discover the science behind our Innovation.

Learn more

Patient care resources icon

Patient care resources

Access a leaflet for your patients which can help them understand the causes of muscle pain and how best to treat it.

Learn more