Sprains

A sprain occurs when you overextend or tear a ligament while severely stressing a joint. Sprains often occur in the following circumstances:

  • Ankle. Walking or exercising on an uneven surface
  • Knee. Pivoting during an athletic activity
  • Wrist. Landing on an outstretched hand during a fall
  • Thumb. Skiing or playing racquet sports, such as tennis

Strains

There are two types of strains: acute and chronic. An acute strain occurs when a muscle becomes strained or pulled — or may even tear — when it stretches unusually far or abruptly. Acute strains often occur in the following ways:

  • Slipping on ice
  • Running, jumping or throwing
  • Lifting a heavy object or lifting in an awkward position

A chronic strain results from prolonged, repetitive movement of a muscle. This may occur on the job or during sports, such as:

  • Gymnastics
  • Tennis
  • Rowing
  • Golf
Oct. 25, 2011