Injury, Workers Comp, & Wrongful Death Lawyers


Sprain/Strain Injuries

  • Strain: An overstretching of the muscle.
  • Sprain: Damage to the ligament/tendon.
  • Despite remodeling (healing), the biomechanical properties of healed tendon tissue never match those of intact tendons. (The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburg and Ireland, Surgeons 3: 5;309-306 2005).
  • Sprain/Strain injuries can be either transient or permanent.
  • There are 3 grades of sprain/strain injuries.

3 Grades of Sprain/Strain Injuries

  • Grade I (Primary): results in stretching of the muscles and/or ligaments. The symptoms tend to be limited to pain and swelling. This is a transient condition.


  • Grade II (Secondary): is more severe and results in partial tearing of the muscles and/or ligaments. There is more significant swelling and bruising caused by bleeding under the skin. This is a permanent condition and will lead to permanent limitation of function to varying degrees.


  • Grade III (Tertiary): is the most severe and results in complete tearing of the muscle and/or ligaments.  The area is painful and function is limited and instability is present.  This is a permanent condition and will lead to permanent and very significant limitation of function

The Four Commonly Used Sprain/Strain ICD 10 Diagnostic Codes

  • S13  Sprain/Strain Injury Cervical Spine (S23 for thoracic; S33 for lumbar)


  • S13.1 Subluxation of cervical vertebra (S23.1 for thoracic; S33.1 for lumbar.


  • S33.6 Sprain of Sacroiliac Joint


  • M53.3 Sacroilliac Joint pain.


  • M54.2 Cervicalgia

All Sprain/Strain Diagnoses refer to Grade I Injuries.