Understanding Sprains and Strains

Taking your first hiking experience can be exciting. But it can also be downright depressing if you slid or slipped and you cannot take another step, not even continue trailing behind. Conditions like this may result in a sprain or a strain. While it can be confusing to most people, medical professionals can identify the problem quickly and provide urgent care. If you start to bruise or swell and pain becomes unbearable, the Family Medical of Chubbuck is here to help.

Sprain versus Strain

Both sprain and strain are serious medical conditions that should never be overlooked. Untreated or prolonged conditions may lead to more serious problems that can affect your overall health. 

Unlike what most people think, the difference between sprain and strain is not entirely defined by the severity of the condition or pain. It is more aptly described based on the affected part – sprains affect the ligaments while strains affect the muscles or tendons.  


Sprain can either be a stretched or a torn ligament. Although it can take place on either the lower or upper torso, the most common area is the ankle. In fact, ankle sprains are considered the most common injury to the musculoskeletal system. Old age is not even a factor because anyone is susceptible to ankle sprains. So, anyone who runs and does a lot of leg work can suffer from ankle sprains.

Ankle sprains happen when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way or more commonly known as inversion injury – that is when you accidentally moved your foot inwards.

The knee and the wrist are also common areas for sprains.

Sprained ankle at Family Medical Clinic of Chubbuck


Strain, on the other hand, is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Strains commonly take place in the back or the back of the thigh. Strains are common in sports-related activities like soccer, hockey, football, boxing, and wrestling. But it can also happen to simple, daily activities such as lifting heavy objects.

There are two types of strains: chronic and acute. Acute strains are usually recent incidents or trauma. Chronic strains are prolonged, untreated conditions, or severely overused muscles or tendons.

The Family Medical of Chubbuck is at the forefront of providing high-quality health care even without appointments. Some medical conditions like sprains and strains need urgent care and cannot wait for a regular appointment.


Sprains are known for swelling, bruising, and pain. Some patients suffer from instability or loss of functional ability.

Strains symptoms include muscle spasms, localized swelling, cramps, inflammation, and some loss of muscle function.


Generally, sprain and strain need immediate attention of a medical practitioner. It is important to examine and assess the condition as soon as possible. The main concern is to eliminate the pain and discomfort brought about by sprain and strain. Medical practitioners may conduct further tests to determine if partial or there is a complete tear.

The Family Medical of Chubbuck leads the way to superior urgent care treatments. Our convenient urgent care services can help you quickly see medical providers and receive the care you need to relieve you from the pain and discomfort caused by the injuries. Our patient’s comfort is our passion.

For quality and premium urgent care services for sprain and strain, trust our Pocatello and Chubbuck walk-in clinic to provide medical care. Call us today at (208) 233-9898 to know more about our urgent care services or if you need immediate treatment.

Subscribe to our Newsletter Receive Special Offers

* indicates required