How do you tell the difference between a sprain and a break?

A sprain is when a ligament becomes overstretched or torn, while a fracture occurs when the bone literally splits or “breaks”.

Sprains usually exhibit swelling and mild bruising and limited range of motion within the joint that has been injured. If the pain seems to stem from soft tissues and you are able to put weight on the wound, it is more than likely a sprain.

However, if you cannot put weight or pressure on the injured area and there is direct pain or deformity over the bone, it is likely a break.