Article by John Miller
Sore muscles and muscle aches are a common symptom post-exercise. However, when you hear reports of muscle spasms, muscle strain, pulled muscle, or a torn muscle then there has been a significant muscle injury.
Muscle pain - no matter how you describe it - "pulled muscle", "muscle strain", "muscle injury" or "torn muscle" the end result is muscle injury, potentially resulting in muscle spasms, pain, weakness and reduced muscle performance.
Muscle Strain Symptoms?
You can suspect a muscle strain or injury if you experience:
- muscle tightness
- inability to fully stretch your injured muscle.
Muscle Strain Treatment
Muscle pain can be caused by any muscle strain, injury or tear. The most common are the high speed and load muscles such as your hamstrings, thigh (quadriceps), calf, back and biceps. Muscle tears can range from a mild strain (grade one), moderate strain (grade two) to a severe strain or complete rupture (grade three).
Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your strain or tear. Until you’ve been accurately diagnosed, use the following guidelines:
- Ice and a compression bandage.
- Elevate the region if it is swollen.
- If it’s painful to walk you should be using crutches.
- Reduce your training to a level where you feel no pain.
Seek the advice of your Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist.
When to Seek Physiotherapy Treatment?
Returning to sport can be easy or complicated depending on the muscle affected. Some muscle tears such as hamstrings are notoriously difficult to get right. That's when it is very important to seek professional assistance.
Ideally, your physiotherapist should undertake at least:
- an assessment of your muscle function, core stability and biomechanics to avoid injury recurrence.
- a remedial massage or sports massage to ensure that any scar
tissue doesn’t clump.
- a muscle rehabilitation program that incorporates components of strength, endurance, flexibility and speed that is specific to your chosen
- a neural tissue dynamics assessment to ensure that no nerve tissue has become
entrapped in the scar tissue.
- application of a heat retainer to the area when you return to sport.
- application ice therapy after any training sessions.
If you suffer a muscle tear which fails to respond after a few days or continues to niggle, please contact PhysioWorks for more specific advice.
Common Sources of Muscle Strain and Pain
For more information about specific muscle strains and sources of muscle pain, please click the links below:
Muscle Pain Treatment
Muscle strain treatment will vary on an individual case basis. The following muscle treatment options are commonly recommended:
FAQs about Muscle Pain, Tears & Strains
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