Differentiating Between Strains, Sprains and Fractures Following a Car Accident

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When involved in a car accident, you may have an injury referred to as a sprain, a strain or a fracture. Understanding the difference between each of these types of injuries can be beneficial in terms of helping you along with the recovery process. Here is a closer look at all three.


A fractured bone is one that has been broken. Some of the symptoms of a fracture include:

  • Severe swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to use the injured body part
  • Deformity
  • Bone poking through the skin

With a fracture, the intensity of the pain will frequently increase when pressure is applied to the area or when the area is moved.


Sprains are frequently confused with fractures due to the amount of pain that is associated with them. In fact, some studies have found that a sprain can actually be more painful than a broken bone.

Simply put, a sprain is a ligament or a tendon that has been overly stretched or possibly even torn in an area that also contains a joint. You may hear a popping sound when the sprain occurs. Some of the symptoms of a sprain include:

  • Swelling
  • Mild bruising
  • Limited range of motion


Strains are isolated to just the muscle tendons and ligaments and do not involve joints. Symptoms of strains include:

  • Rapid swelling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited range of motion

Of course, the only way to know for sure is to get a medical diagnose. At Advanced Spine and Rehab, we will provide you with the diagnosis as well as the treatment that you need to feel like yourself again following a car accident! Contact us today to learn more!

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