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Sprains and strains often occur during sporting activities or accidents that involve a fall or collision.
You're at risk of getting a sprain or strain if you:
You can sprain your ankle if you accidentally put your weight on the outside of your foot. If your whole body weight presses down on the outer ligament of your ankle, it can stretch or tear. Ankle sprains sometimes occur when walking or running over rough or uneven ground.
Sprains and strains often occur when playing sports as a result of physical contact and the sudden acceleration and deceleration involved.
Sports injuries are more likely to happen when a person starts a sport for the first time and their muscles aren't used to the physical stresses involved.
Experienced athletes can also get injured when they're at the peak of their training because the increased demands on their muscles can suddenly cause them to become strained.
Competitive athletes, such as sprinters, long-distance runners, gymnasts and footballers have a high risk of recurring muscle strains because of the intense nature of their training and the overuse of specific muscle groups.
Children are also at risk of injury while playing sports because they're still developing physically. However, despite the risk of injury, it's important to remember that physical activities have many important health benefits and can help increase a child's confidence and self-esteem.
There are a number of things that increase your risk of getting injured while playing sport or taking part in other physical activities. These include:
Read more about preventing sprains and strains.