Difference between Sprains and Tears?

By  siteadmin  published  April 8, 2020

While sprains and tears are similar injuries, they are not exactly the same.


When a ligament is overstretched or torn upon an injury, such as falling, twisting of a joint, or an impact to the body, it is referred to as a sprain.

Sprains oftenheal in a period ranging from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury, and can be –

  • Mild sprain: The ligament is stretched but the joint is still stable
  • Moderate sprain: The ligament is partially torn but not completely separated from the bone; the joint becomes unstable
  • Severe sprain: The ligament has completely torn or separated from the bone

Sprain Symptoms

  • Hearing or feeling a ‘pop’ in your joint during injury
  • Localized pain
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion


Tears occur when a ligament, tendon, or muscle is torn. Tears may result from the same injuries that cause a sprain but tears are more serious injuries.

Minor tears may heal in a few weeks while severe tendon and muscle tears need several months. Severe tears may even require surgery to repair.

Tear Symptoms

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • ‘Popping’ sound at the time of the injury
  • Loose joint
  • The affected area is unable to bear weight
  • Instant bruising
  • Joint Immobility
  • Visual deformity
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