Muscle Strains

 

What is a Muscle Strain?

A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when your muscle is over stretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring.

Characteristics/ Clinical presentation

Sudden onset of pain
Soreness
Limited range of movement
Bruising or discolouration
Swelling
A ‘knotted-up” feeling
Muscle spams
Stiffness
Weakness

Clinical diagnosis

The practitioner will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. During the exam they will establish where the muscle strain is by palpation and the degree of the muscle strain by any muscle weakness.

 

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

 

 

Treatment

Most muscle strains can be successfully treated at home. Minor muscle strains can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).

Rest
Avoid using your muscle for a few days, especially if movement causes and increase in pain. Too much rest can cause muscles to become weak, which can prolong the healing process. After two days, slowly begin using the affected muscle group, taking care not to overdo it.

Ice
Apply ice immediately after injuring your muscle. This will minimize swelling. Don’t put ice directly on your skin. Use an ice pack or wrap ice in a towel. Keep the ice on your muscle for about 20 minutes. Repeat every hour on the first day. For the next several days, apply ice every four hours.

Compression
To reduce swelling, wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage until swelling comes down. Be careful not to wrap the area too tightly, as this can reduce your blood circulation.

Elevation
Whenever possible, keep the injured muscle raised above the level of your heart.

Massage & Rehabilitation

We suggest that you see a Physio/Sports Therapist early on after the injury to have some soft tissue/massage therapy. It would also be beneficial at an early stage to be given a well planned out rehab programme to start regaining movement and strength in the affected muscle.

Here at Comfort Health

 

At Comfort Health we offer a range of treatments from sports massage, physiotherapy 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.

 

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