We hear these terms, strain and sprain, but many parents and athletes don’t quite know what they mean. These terms should not scare you. Both terms mean an injury, specifically a tear, to a part of the body. If there is pain, its means get treatment.
A strain refers to an injury to a muscle or tendon, where a sprain refers to an injury to a ligament. Other terms you are likely to hear are: pulled (a muscle), tore, rolled (an ankle), and "tweaked". All these terms mean the same thing-an injury has occurred.
Strains and sprains are classified into three categories, Level 1 is mild, Level 2 is moderate, and Level 3 is severe. Most strains and sprains are mild injuries that can be treated at home and by an athletic trainer. Moderate strains/sprains should be referred to a physician with severe injuries definitely requiring immediate treatment by a physician as soon as possible. All levels will require some type of rehabilitation and treatment before returning to activity. Most of this can be done by the athletic trainer at the school or institution.
The best way to treat these injuries is to apply ice for the first two days with rest or decreased activity. Slow progression back to activity is best with ice applied after every work out. Remember if there is pain there is an injury. How serve the injury needs to be diagnosed by a professional.