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Sprains Causes & Risks


A sprain occurs when an external force pushes two bones of a joint apart. If the force continues, the ligament holding the joint together has to give. Most of the time, it gives only partially and is sprained. Sprains occur most often during a sport related activity. They can also happen from accidents in everyday actions.

Forces that may cause a sprain include:

  • A fall
  • Contact with another person (especially in sports)
  • A misstep

The most common joints involved include:

  • Ankle
  • Knee
  • Thumb
  • Finger
  • Shoulder (acromioclavicular joint)

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance for ligament sprains include:

  • Sports with high speeds and risk of collision, such as:
    • Basketball
    • Football
    • Skiing
    • Gymnastics

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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