What is a Muscle Strain?

What is a Muscle Strain?

Photo by Benjamin Wedemeyer on Unsplash

A muscle strain may occur if our muscle fibres cannot cope with the load put on them.  This could be due to overloading the muscle, stretching it beyond its normal range or moving in a fast manner that the muscle cannot handle.  A strain can happen to any of our muscles and means that there are some tears to the muscle fibres.  Most muscle strains we see are what we classify as Grade 1.

Grade 1

Grade 1 means that only a small number of fibres are affected and you will have full strength and range of movement. You will most likely experience some pain and the muscle may be tender to touch.

Grade 2

Grade 2 muscle strains means more muscle fibres are affected and you may experience some bruising or swelling as well as some pain in the affected area.  There may also be a small decrease in your muscle strength.

Grade 3

Finally, grade 3 muscle strains are when the muscle fibres are completely torn. You will experience bruising and swelling, along with pain.  You may lose the strength of the torn muscle as it is not able to function at its normal capacity.

Photo by Joel Ambass on Unsplash

What can I do if I think I have a muscle strain?

Initially some rest from aggravating activities may be required however, it is encouraged to start moving the muscle within a range that feels comfortable. The we want to optimally load the muscle to maintain its strength. If you notice some swelling, try applying ice to help reduce this. Ice for 15 minutes at a time every couple of hours is sufficient, elevation is also helpful to help encourage removal of any inflammation that may be present.

Further Information

If you have any questions about back or shoulder pain, or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please click here to book. Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

For all enquiries : Contact – Physioflexx Ayrshire on 01560 483200.

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