Sprains and strains are some of the most common injuries that share the same signs and symptoms; however, they involve different parts of your body.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments — the tough band of fibrous tissue that link two bones together in your joints. The most common location for a sprain is in your ankle.
A strain is a stretching or tearing of either the muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that links muscles to bones. Strains sometimes happen in the lower back and in the hamstring muscle in the back of your thigh.
Initial treatment for both sprains and strains include rest, ice, compression and elevation. Mild sprains and strains can be successfully treated at home. Severe pains and strains sometimes require surgery to repair torn ligaments, muscles or tendons.