The difference between a strain vs. sprain

We commonly hear of injuries referred to as a strain or a sprain.  These two words sound the same but have a different meaning.  A strain refers to a muscle or tendon that has been injured.  Tendons attach muscles to bones.  These injuries heal between 4-8 weeks. A sprain refers to a ligament that has been injured.  A ligament attaches bones together and lacks the circulation that is needed for a speedy recovery.  Ligaments once stretched do not have contractile fibers and will remain stretched.  A sprain will heal between 4-6 months.  So although these two words sound the same, the difference can mean a speedy recovery or a long road ahead.