The first thing to remember is that no two people are the same, so a muscle injury to one person may be completely different to the next, even if they are classified as the same grade of muscle strain.
Grades of a Muscle Strain
Grade 1 – Mild damage to individual muscle fibres (less than 5% of fibres). Minimal loss of strength an motion. Generally take 2-3 wees to improve
Grade 2 – More extensive damage with more muscle fibres involved. However, the muscle is not completely ruptured. Significant loss of strength and motion. May require 2-3 months before a complete return to sport.
Grade 3 – Complete rupture of a muscle or tendon. Can present with a palpable defect in the muscle or tendon. Swelling in the area may make this difficult to appreciate. Grade 3 strains sometimes require surgery to reattach the damaged muscle/ tendon. Time for recovery depends on the method of treatment for a grade 3 strain and if surgery was needed.
What is a muscle strain?
A strain is an acute or chronic soft tissue injury that occurs to a muscle, tendon, or both. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring.
Why do muscle strain’s happen?
A muscle strain, occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a muscle.
Can a muscle tear heal on its own?
Depending on the severity and location of your muscle strain, will determine if your muscle can heal on its own. Grade 1 -2 strains are more likely to heal quicker and on their own, compared to Grade 3 strains.
Is heat good for a strained muscle?
The amount of swelling or local bleeding into the muscle from the torn blood vessels can best be managed early by applying ice packs and maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position. Heat can be applied when the swelling has reduced. However, the early application of heat can increase swelling and pain.
Should I stretch a strained muscle?
You can stretch your strained muscle until you feel a slight pull. Stop stretching if you feel pain.
The Road To Recovery
This is a great post by Adam Meakins about the reality of the road to recovery.
It is important for myself as a practitioner and my clients to understand that the road to recovery will not always be straight forward and there will be highs and lows throughout the journey.
I can’t emphasise enough the significance of recognising even the smallest bit of progress. Any progression is a step in the right direction, ultimately leading to getting back to full fitness, and becoming a healthier stronger person.
Here at Comfort Health
If you feel like you are struggling with a muscle strain – please get in contact with Comfort Health today and get booked in for your full injury assessment and treatment to start your road to recovery.