I strained my back while lifting at work. The doctor says that I also sprained a muscle. What is the difference between a strain and a sprain?

Strains and sprains are common overexertion injuries. They often occur when a person overexerts themselves during physical activity or as the result of sitting for a prolonged period of time. Strains, sprains and other overexertion injuries account for more than 25 percent of Tennessee workers’ compensation claims.

A strain occurs when a muscle is stretched or torn. Other terms for a strain are pulled muscle or torn muscle. Symptoms of muscle strains include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain when the muscle is being used
  • Weakness in the muscle
  • Pain when the muscle is at rest
  • Inability to use the muscle

A sprain happens when a ligament is stretched or torn. Symptoms of sprains include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Weakness in the joint
  • Limited ability to move the joint
  • Extreme pain when putting weight on the affected body part
  • Popping sound

Back sprains and strains are very common injuries. More than half of on-the-job overexertion injuries involve the back. Care for a back sprains and strains usually focuses on reducing swelling and relieving pain. It may include:

  • Medication to relieve pain and reduce swelling
  • Icing the injury
  • Heat
  • Rest
  • Gradual return to normal activity

Most people with back sprains and strains fully recover within two weeks. However, some serious overexertion injuries of the back may last longer. Surgery is only required if there is damage to a bone or disc.

If you suffered an overexertion injury while at work, your medical expenses should be paid by workers’ compensation. If you have been denied Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits, a Memphis workplace injury attorney can help. To schedule a free consultation, contact Bailey & Greer at 888-470-9143.

See Our Top 10 FAQ Pages

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.