Physicians define a sprain as a stretching or tearing of the ligaments: bands of thick, fibrous tissue that connect the bones together through the joints. Ankles tend to have the highest risk of suffering a sprain.

Immediate treatment for a sprain should include the RICE strategy: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Mild sprains will usually heal at home on their own when following this method, though severe sprains will sometimes require surgery in order to repair torn ligaments.

The main difference between sprains and strains: A sprain injures the tissue that connects the bones together, while a strain injures a muscle or to the tissue that attaches muscle to bone.