Muscle Strains: the Why and What to do.

9th May 2019
| |

Muscle Strains: the Why and What to do.

So, a muscle strain is where a muscle tears through the muscle belly or around the musculotendinous junction (around the tendon area of the muscle). This is often very common amongst athletes, but also happens in non-athletes, and usually happens when some or all the fibers of a muscle fail to cope with the demand that the body is placing upon them.

When load overcomes the muscle strength or capacity, the muscle undergoes a strain, and a strain can cause a tear, so beware!

Because a muscle strain is usually caused by increased demands of the muscle or overstretching the muscle, it can happen in non contact sports as well, such as running or cycling.

The muscles most likely effected by muscle strains are the Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Calves. Why? These muscles exclusively cross over two joints in the body, so tension at both ends of the joints can often result in a muscle strain if the muscle is not conditioned properly.

Grading of muscle strains is important, because it allows us to plan your treatment plan more accurately:

Of course with most injuries, muscle strains are graded into 3 different categories –

  • Grade I: Small number of fibers involved and causes local pain but no loss of strength. Often full active and passive range within the muscle, pain and tenderness often delayed to the next day.
  • Grade II: A tear of a significant number of fibers with associated pain and swelling. The pain is reproduced with a muscle contraction. Strength is reduced and movement is limited by pain, however still able to apply weight on it.
  • Grade III: A complete tear or rupture of the muscle. This is seen mostly at the musculotendinous junction and less in the muscle belly itself. This tear is accompanied by severe bruising and swelling and complete loss of function. Patients are usually unable to weight bare on the effected side. This is usually treated via surgical repair.

Management and Treatment:

Standard acute management applies the same for a muscle strain.

  1. Protection applied to the muscle to prevent further injury and pain.
  2. Rest is necessary to control the injury and begin the healing process, rest is different per strain grade
  3. Ice can be used for pain (analgesic) effects, although not normally recommended as it shows to slow down healing
  4. Compression bandages are useful in the reduction of swelling if necessary.
  5. Elevation is good to use with compression in the reduction of swelling

Of course this is just the acute phase of injury (first few days), as your muscle pain is reduced, a full rehabilitation progression combined with strengthening and lengthening of the torn muscle is needed for a full recovery back to sport!

A combination of hands on treatment and rehabilitation is key for full recovery!

With most injuries, there are usually a number of factors that can predispose you to a muscle strain that should be addressed to prevent future occurrence:

Obviously, you don’t want it to happen again!

These can include:

  • Lack of warm up before exercise or over fatigue of the muscle beforehand
  • Insufficient joint range of motion or excessive muscle tightness
  • Muscle weakness (especially eccentrically)
  • Previous Injury
  • Faulty Biomechanics or Muscle Imbalance
  • Spinal Dysfunction or core/joint stability

If you notice any of these factors occurring, or if you are struggling with a muscle strain let us know, we are here to help!

BOOK NOW!

Sharing is Caring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RELATED POSTS

Create a Pain Free Work Environment

25/10/2019

Too often do we see people coming into the clinic complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain while sat at a desk.  The majority of people within London, have a desk based job, sitting for more than ...

read more

Shin Splints Made Easy

23/10/2019

Shin splints is described as pain felt along the front of your lower leg. It is a common pain with runners and impact athletes, particularly beginners who do not build their training volume and intens...

read more

BOOK ONLINE

BOOK NOW
BOOK NOW

sign up for 10% OFF

Note: We'll never share your email.

FIND US

118a London Wall, EC2Y 5JA

We are based on London Wall, the City of London, and are moments away from a few of the main underground stations in the City of London. Our closest tube stations are: Moorgate Station, Liverpool Street Station and Bank Station.

CONTACT

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 7am – 8pm | Saturday 8am – 2pm
Emergency appointments are available outside our opening hours, including Sundays.

020 737 484 92