How do you know if you have pulled a muscle?
- Protect the strained muscle from further injury.
- Rest the strained muscle.
- Ice the muscle area (20 minutes every hour while awake).
- Compression can be gently applied with an Ace or other elastic bandage, which can both provide support and decrease swelling.
- Elevate the injured area to decrease swelling.
A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they're most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh. These strains can cause pain and may limit movement within the affected muscle group.
- In a mild strain, a torn muscle may feel slightly stiff, but still flexible enough for use. A severe muscle strain is when the muscle is severely torn. This results in pain and very limited movement. The symptoms of mild to moderate muscle strains usually go away within a few weeks.
- Fix It
- Dynamic rest. Avoid lower-leg work as much as possible.
- Ice it. Ice the muscles for 15- to 20-minute stretches during the first 24 hours to help reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasm.
- Try a compression bandage.
- Elevate it.
- Shorten the muscle.
- Try an NSAID.
- Work on flexibility.
- Spasms of skeletal muscles are most common and are often due to overuse and muscle fatigue, dehydration, and electrolyte abnormalities. The spasm occurs abruptly, is painful, and is usually short-lived.
And we call that a "grade-two" or partial tear of that strain. Those can take anywhere from three to six weeks to heal and to recover from and most often require that the athlete stop the sport that they are participating in, whether it's running or basketball or working out.
- Treatment of a ligament injury varies depending on it's location and severity. Grade I sprains usually heal within a few weeks. Maximal ligament strength will occur after six weeks when the collagen fibres have matured. Resting from painful activity, icing the injury, and some anti-inflammatory medications are useful.
- Symptoms of muscle strain include:
- Swelling, bruising, or redness due to the injury.
- Pain at rest.
- Pain when the specific muscle or the joint in relation to that muscle is used.
- Weakness of the muscle or tendons.
- Inability to use the muscle at all.
- A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they're most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh. These strains can cause pain and may limit movement within the affected muscle group.
The universally recommended initial treatment for pulled muscles is R.I.C.E., which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If it's a minor strain, do what you can as far as gently moving your muscle through its range of motion after a couple of days of rest. Stop if or when it's painful.
- Rest the strained muscle and apply ice for the first few days after the injury. Anti-inflammatory medicines or acetaminophen (Tylenol) also help reduce pain and swelling. As the pain decreases, you can use heat on the muscle. Stretching and light exercises to bring blood to the injured area can also be useful.
- If you have a Grade I or Grade II strain, your doctor will probably recommend that you follow the RICE rule:
- Rest the injured muscle (take a temporary break from sports activities).
- Ice the injured area to reduce swelling.
- Compress the muscle with an elastic bandage.
- Elevate the injured leg.
- Shoulder sprain symptoms will vary depending on how bad the injury is and can range from mild to very severe and will include pain in the shoulder, usually at the front of the joint. There will be tenderness when pressing in on the area of injury. Rapid swelling may appear and the shoulder will be painful to move.
Updated: 2nd October 2018