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Tackling a Muscle Strain

Tackling a Muscle Strain

To be able to tackle a muscle strain or muscle tearing, it is significant to know what is a muscle strain. A muscle is made of fibers. Muscle strain is nothing but damage to those fibers that make up a muscle. Muscle damage is tearing (part or all) of the muscle fibers, although tendons that attach the muscles to the bone can also be torn, however, we are specifically focusing on muscles. Tearing of muscles damages small blood vessels and may cause bleeding and pain.

  • Steps to prevent Muscle Strain:

Stretching your muscles before work-outs is not at all a good practice and it should be avoided. Before starting any strenuous or rigorous training session, it is important to first warm-up our body muscles. After finishing our training session, we should undertake cool-down practice. Cool-down is a practice wherein we should stretch our muscles. Before undergoing strenuous exercise, you should take on mobility exercises that are a part of warm-up activity that helps to free our muscles and joints. You should discuss a rehabilitation program with your therapist to reduce the chance of future muscle strains/tears.

  • Symptoms of Muscle Strain:

In the initial crucial acute stages of muscle tear, you might experience pain even while at rest. You may experience swelling, bruising or redness which can be seen only if you have encountered more significant muscle tears, though not always. You experience pain when there is movement of the specific teared muscle or related joint.

You will not be able to effectively contract your muscle due to pain and you will also encounter weakness in your muscle. If your muscle is entirely ruptured/teared then you may not be able to use the muscle at all.

  • Self-Care at Home for Muscle Strain Treatment:

The method of acute injury treatment (RICE), which consists of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are best suited to deal with the amount of swelling or local bleeding into the muscle from the blood vessels. It is best to apply ice only after you wrapped it a tissue or cloth. You can take nonsteroidal drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin, ibuprofen to reduce pain and give relief to move around. However, if you have kidney disorders, then you should avoid having NSAIDS and should should consult a doctor.

Otherwise, you can also opt for the PRICE formula, which consists of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. You can follow the below mentioned steps:

  • Protect the strained muscle from further injury
  • Rest the strained muscle and avoid performing activities that caused strain
  • Apply ice to the strained muscle area for 20 minutes in every hour. Ice is a very effective anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever.
  • Compression can be gently applied with an tubigrip or other elastic bandage, that can provide both support and decrease swelling. Make sure you do not over tightly wrap your affected muscle
  • In order to decrease the swelling, elevate the strained muscle (For example, elevate your leg on a prop up while sitting, it your leg muscle is strained)
  • Until your muscle strain decreases and shows progression, try to avoid strenuous work which causes stress to your affected muscle


  • Seek Medical Care:

You should go and visit a physiotherapist if the pain does not reduce despite of following the RICE and PRICE. These formulas would only be effective if you are suffering from a minor muscle strain. The expert will perform various tests on our affected muscle to ensure if your muscle tissues are not completely ruptured. Checking the extent of your muscle or tendon strain, he will advise you whether to restrict your activity, take days off from work and whether you need to start physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

If you have undergone proper treatment without delay, there is no reason that a full recovery cannot be made. There are cases where many people have encountered repeated muscle strains or tears, but it is due to insufficient treatment and rehabilitation. The injury can be completely healed, only if you follow the correct measures and seek medical help from experts if your muscle strain is too severe.