Muscle Strains


What is a Muscle Strain?

A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when muscle fibres can’t cope with the demands placed on them and results in the over-stretching or tearing of the muscle fibres. This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse, imbalance in muscle strength or improper use of a muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulders, groin and hamstrings.

Characteristics/ Clinical presentation

Symptoms of a muscle strain can be:

– Sudden onset of pain
– Pain, tenderness or soreness
– Limited range of movement
– Bruising or discolouration
– Swelling
– You can’t put weight on the injury or use it normally
– A ‘knotted-up” feeling
– Muscle spams or cramping
– Stiffness
– Weakness

Clinical diagnosis

Some muscle strains will settle after a couple of days, however if the pain persists, this is an indication that you may need to seek expert advice. It is best to start the road to recovery as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage and allow you to get back to normal activity more quickly.

During an assessment at Comfort Health the practitioner will do a detailed assessment of your injury and diagnosis. A bespoke treatment suiting your needs, and a series of comprehensive exercises and advice to help you manage your injury. We also look at your medical history and habits that may have led to the injury. These include:

– Previous injuries and related treatments
– Current training patterns and any changes in training
– Injury details (eg, what provokes and reduces symptoms, duration of symptoms)
– Athletic activities
– Detailed training history, including running and racing experience
– Medical conditions & prior surgeries
– Medication and supplement use

In severe cases ultrasound scans or MRI scans may be necessary to advise on the severity of the tear.


We suggest that you see a Physio or Massage Therapist early on after the injury to have some soft tissue/massage therapy as well as a well planned out rehab programme to start regaining movement and strength in the affected area.

Some minor muscle strains can be helped by following the treatment strategies below. Don’t try to push through pain. If you notice discomfort, take a break, however, if the pain and discomfort continues, see your physio/health professional as you may need more advanced treatment to resolve your injury.

Rest: Take it easy. If you keep exercising, your injury could get worse.
Ice : Apply ice packs to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Compression: Wrap the painful area with tape and use splints and supports to control swelling and stabilise the affected area.
Elevate: Elevate it to help reduce swelling.
Pain killers: Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen to help relieve pain and inflammation – Do seek medical advice before taking pain killers.

Physiotherapy, Massage and dry needling can all be very beneficial in the injury recovery.


Here at Comfort Health

All of our therapists are very experienced in muscle strains and offer a wide range of treatments from; physiotherapysports massagecupping and acupuncture, along with a variety of other services to help with muscle strains.

If you feel like you could benefit from a treatment from one of our practitioners –  Click Here and book in today.