The difference between a break and a sprain is more than just one hurts more than the other. While, yes, both breaks and sprains hurt, in some cases a lot, there are significant differences between both types of injuries. It's easy to say that you broke a leg or sprained an ankle because of some weird accident that happened, but unless you're a doctor you really have no clue if your injury is a sprain or a break or something else entirely.
It's easy to get confused when you think you broke or sprained something, especially when you're probably focused on all the pain shooting into injured area of your body. To the untrained person who doesn't know the difference between a sprain, strain or break they're just going to believe whatever they want to believe the moment they injure themselves.
The most common body part that is confusing to determine whether it's broken or sprained is the ankle. So, let's try and clear that up for you. When it comes to the ankle a break is actually when one of the ankle's bones (usually the fibula) fractures. For it to be considered an ankle sprain and not a broken ankle one or more of your ankle's ligaments will tear instead of fracture.
Below are some signs that can pinpoint whether you have a break or a sprain:
-First off, if you hear a cracking noise in the area of your body where the pain is emanating from then that would most likely signal a break. However, if you hear a noise that sounds like a pop, then that would likely signal a sprain instead.
-Next, take a look at the injured area and see if you see something crooked/lumpy with a bit of swelling. If you see any of those signs then you may have broken a bone.
-Numbness is also a sign of a break so if you feel numb where you injured yourself then prepare yourself for the news of a broken bone.
-Pain severity is another important indicator. A break is associated with severe pain, while anything less, such as a slight discomfort, means it's nothing more than a sprain. If you have more discomfort than feeling pain you shouldn't worry too much about it being broken.
-If you try to move your body where you're hurt and you can't it's broken and you should forget about anything else until you get medical care; if you can get any movement, however slight, is likely just a sprain.
Of course even though we have now told you what the difference is between breaks and sprains your best bet is to go see your doctor so you can get checked out by a medical professional, even if it means having to miss an important event. You have to do it for your health!
Learn how to recognize a sprain from a broken bone.