Sprains are injuries to the ligaments surrounding a joint. In the wrist, a tough band of ligaments connects fifteen separate bones. Any movement that twists, bends, or impacts the wrist, forcing it beyond its normal range of motion, can damage these ligaments. Wrist sprains are most commonly caused by falls and landing on an outstretched hand. They are often mild, but can be more severe.
Strained and sprained wrists have some overlapping characteristics, but they are two distinct injuries. Sprains are ligament injuries and are most common in the wrists, ankles, and knees. Strains, on the other hand, are overstretched or torn muscles. Pulled muscles are most common in the knees, back, feet, and legs.
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