Differences between Sprains and Strains from Bicycle Accident

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Soft tissue injuries are painful and inconvenient, but usually heal given rest and time. When a bicycle accident in Kirkland is serious, though, a cyclist may sustain sprain and strain injuries that are more severe. For instance, common bicyclist knee injuries are often sprains.

Sprains and Strains from Bicycle Accident: Differences

The difference between a sprain and strain has to do with whether or not the injured area is a ligament, a muscle or a tendon. When a strain occurs, a muscle or tendon has been torn. When a sprain occurs, on the other hand, a ligament has been stretched or torn.

Both injuries are painful and share many of the same symptoms.

  • Swelling
  • Impaired mobility
  • Tenderness at the injury site


A pop or tearing sound may characterize a sprain; muscle spasms may characterize a strain.

How Sprains and Strains Happen

A sprain can happen in these instances.

  • Falls
  • Hits
  • Twists the injury site in an awkward or unusual fashion


Falling off a bike and landing on a wrist, for example, can cause a ligament sprain. A strain does not usually occur as a result of impact, like a fall or a hit.

Instead, a strain happens when the muscles or tendons move in one of these ways.

  • Twisted
  • Pulled
  • Stretched


The most common types of strains are back and hamstring strains. In a bike accident, a cyclist may develop a strain if the impact of the vehicle propels the cyclist’s body forward at a fast speed, causing it to twist or stretch in the process.

Treating Sprains and Strains

If a sprain or strain is mild, it will typically heal itself with the use of over-the-counter drugs to control inflammation and pain. When strains and sprains are slightly more serious, rehabilitative therapy may help to restore mobility. Doctors apply splints and casts to serious sprain or strain injuries.

In extreme cases, the sprain or strain may be so severe that surgical intervention is necessary. While this is rare, torn ligaments and ruptured muscles can occur during a bike accident. Surgery will most likely require expensive medical care (the surgery itself, prescription medications, physical therapy) and missed time from work.

Recovering Compensation for a Sprain or Strain Injury

If the insurance company of the driver who hit you doesn’t offer you a sufficient settlement amount  you might want to consider discussing your case with a Kirkland bicycle or pedestrian accident attorney. You definitely will want to meet with a lawyer if your sprain or strain injury is severe and may lead to permanent impairment.

Discuss the possibility of filing a tort action for damages. At Max Meyers Law PLLC, our attorneys can help you get started. Get in contact with our offices now to find out how a lawsuit can benefit you at 425-399-7000

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.