Sprains and Strains Do you know the difference between a sprain and a strain? Often, the only way to tell is to see your health care provider for an evaluation. Treating Sports Injuries Sports injuries can be either acute traumatic, which require immediate medical care, or chronic overuse injuries. Preventing Sports Injuries With the proper precautions, sports injuries can often be prevented. Proper conditioning is important, as is using the correct gear and protective equipment.