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What is a sprain?
A sprain occurs when ligaments (fibers that connect bones to other bones) are stretched or torn.
Sprains are usually caused by an injury, such as twisting your ankle. When this happens, your joint moves in an unnatural way and the ligament gets stretched and pulled.
What is a strain?
A strain occurs when tendons (bands at the end of muscles that connect muscles to bones) get stretched or pulled away from the bone.
These can also happen as a result of a fall or twist, but are more likely to happen over time as a result of over-using the muscles.
What are the signs that my child has a sprain or strain?
Symptoms for sprains and strains are similar and may include:
When should my child see a doctor?
Sprains and strains occur commonly and they often heal with minimal treatment. However, some sprains and strains can be serious and require medical treatment. See your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following occur:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”