Article by John Miller
Muscle Strain, Muscle Tear, Pulled Muscle
Muscle pain - no matter how you describe it - "pulled muscle", "muscle strain", "muscle injury" or "muscle tear" the end result is an injury
to your muscle resulting in muscle pain, muscle weakness and reduced muscle performance.
These common muscle strains and their general treatment will be discussed shortly.
Other common causes of sports-related muscle pain include muscle contusions such as a corked thigh or an overtraining condition such as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or muscle cramps.
You should also be aware that not all muscle pain is injury-related and can be due to systemic conditions such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis. Please consult with your trusted
healthcare practitioner for a thorough assessment and diagnosis of your muscle pain.
How to Care for Your Muscle Pain?
Muscle pain can be caused by any strain, injury or tear. The most common is 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 1), moderate strain (Grade 2) to a complete rupture (Grade 3). Treatment options vary
depending on the severity of your muscle strain, tear or rupture.
Grade 1 muscle strains will usually respond well to conservative treatment including protection and active rest with a gradual introduction
to flexibility, strength, power and speed exercise depending upon the functional needs of the injured muscle. Massage therapy and dry needling are
other treatment options available.
Grade 2 muscle tears may require some professional assistance from a sports physiotherapist or other healthcare practitioner with a special
interest in muscle injuries. Grade two injuries are more likely to have scarring, inflexibility and reduce strength and performance. They are
generally a higher risk of re-injury on your return to sport or work, so professionally guided rehabilitation is advised.
Grade 3 muscle rupture often require surgery. Please consult with a healthcare practitioner for more advice. Most muscle rupture repairs
will require a very gradual and progressed rehabilitation program under the guidance of your surgeon and your physiotherapist.
Symptoms of a Muscle Strain
- Muscle tightness
- Inability to fully stretch your injured muscle
- Loss of function
What’s the Best Treatment for a Muscle 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. That may include stopping all exercise.
- Seek the advice of your physiotherapist, massage therapist or your trusted healthcare practitioner.
Return to Sports Post-Muscle Strain
Returning to a sport can be easy or complicated depending on the muscle affected. Some muscle tears such as hamstrings are notoriously difficult to
Ideally, you should undertake:
- an assessment of your muscle function, core stability and biomechanics to avoid injury recurrence.
- a remedial or sports style 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 sport.
- 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 or your healthcare practitioner
for more specific advice.
Common Causes of Muscle Strain, Pain and Tears
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinitis
Back Muscle Pain
Calf Muscle Tear
DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Poor Hip Core
Rotator Cuff Tear
RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
Side Strain (Abdominal)
Muscle Pain Treatment Options
Early Injury Treatment
Avoid the HARM Factors
What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
Balance Enhancement Exercises
Proprioception & Balance Exercises
Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
Soft Tissue Massage
Brace or Support
Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
Supportive Taping & Strapping
FAQs about Muscle Pain, Tears & Strains
Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
What is Pain?
Physiotherapy & Exercise
Which PhysioWorks Clinics Offer Remedial Massage?
How Does Massage Help You?
Massage Styles and their Benefits
What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
Post-Run Soreness: Should You Be Concerned?
Rotator Cuff: What is it?
Running Recovery: 6 Helpful Tips
Sports Injury? What to do? When?
What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
What is a TENS Machine?
What is Chronic Pain?
What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
What is Nerve Pain?
What is Sports Physiotherapy?
What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
When is the Best Time for a Pre-Event Massage?
When is the Best Time for Your Post-Event Recovery Massage?
Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
Buy Products Online for Muscle Pain