Muscle Pain & Injury

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Article by John Miller

Muscle Pain

Muscle strain

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. 

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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.

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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
  • Bruising
  • Weakness
  • 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 get right.

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.

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Common Causes of Muscle Strain, Pain and Tears

  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Back Muscle Pain
  • Calf Muscle Tear
  • Corked Thigh
  • Cramps
  • DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Groin Strain
  • Hamstring Strain
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Headache
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Poor Hip Core
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Shin Splints
  • Side Strain (Abdominal)
  • Thigh Strain
  • muscle pain

    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
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Walking Boot
  • Brace or Support
  • Dry Needling
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • 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

    Muscle Tears

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    Last updated 13-Jul-2018 01:45 PM

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