Often used interchangeably, sprains and strains describe the overstretching or tearing of soft tissue around your joints. There are differences, however.
A joint sprain is the overstretching or tearing of ligaments that connect two bones together in a joint. The ankle is the most common location for a sprain, although wrist and thumb sprains are also common. Sprains typically happen when a person falls, twists or is hit in a way that forces the body out of normal position. Symptoms of a sprain include joint or muscle pain, inflammation, hampered movement, tenderness and bruising. A mild sprain can heal in 7-to-10 days. A more severe sprain may take several weeks to heal and should be done under supervision of a health care provider. In some cases, surgery may be required.