A sprain is a stretch and tear of one or more ligament that connects two or more bones at a joint in our body. The seriousness of the injury depends directly on the extent of an injury and the number of ligaments affected.

The causes of Sprain

The sprain can happen due to –

  • A fall when the person falls with an outstretched arm or slides into something with force and land on side of the foot
  • A sudden twist, for example, a sudden twist in the knee with the foot placed firmly on the ground
  • A blow to the body making the joint getting out of the normal position. It tears or stretches the ligament backing up the joint.

Where Do Sprains Happen Generally?

The sprains can happen in both upper and lower parts of the body. The ankle is the most common area to be stricken by sprain. On an average, more than 25 thousand people have a sprain in ankle daily in the United States.

The ankle joint is rendered support by many lateral and medial ligaments. Most of the ankle sprains occur as the foot twists inside as a person falls, runs, turns or lands on ankle following a jump. It is called an inversion injury. The other common site for sprain injury is knee. Sprains normally happen at the wrist, generally when the people fall on the outstretched hand. In sports like skiing, the sprain on thumb is common.

Signs and Symptoms

The general signs and symptoms of sprain are pain, bruising, swelling, instability and loss of ability to move and to make the joint function properly. The signs and symptoms can differ in intensity as per the seriousness of the sprain. At times people feel a pop when the harm happens. The doctor closely observes the injured body part and inquires to get information to diagnose the seriousness and extent of the sprain.

Grade I – Mild Sprain

Mild sprain happens due to overstretching or tearing of ligaments with no instability in joint. The patient generally experiences less pain, swelling and little or no loss in functional ability.

Grade II – Moderate Sprain

It is incomplete tearing of ligament identified by bruising, temperate pain and swelling. The patient thus gets unable to put weight on the affected joint and feels the loss of function. X-ray is required to help the healthcare supplier makes out whether the fracture has caused the swelling and pain.

Grade III – Severe Sprain

A severe sprain is the tear or rupture of the ligament causing severe pain, swelling and bruising. X ray helps to make out where the broken bone is. As you diagnose the sprain, the doctor may ask the patient about how the injury has happened.


  • After the injury, protect the limb from further injury.
  • Make the injured limb rest but don’t be extremely cut off from all activities.
  • After the injury, make the affected area rubbed with a cold pack as soon as possible.
  • Make the area compact with the bandage or elastic wrap.
  • Lift the injured limb as possible to help prevent or reduce the swelling.

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