Table of contents:
- Symptoms of muscle strain
- What to do in case of suspicion
- How the treatment is done
- How to avoid strain
Muscle strain occurs when a muscle is overstretched, causing some muscle fibers or the entire muscle involved to rupture. In some cases, this rupture can even affect the tendons close to the muscle, occurring more specifically at the musculotendinous junction, which is the site of the union between the muscle and the tendon.
The causes of muscle strain include excessive effort to perform a muscle contraction, during running, soccer, volleyball or basketball, for example, and therefore muscle strain is very common in people who are getting ready for a championship or during a competition, although it can also occur in ordinary people who demand a lot of effort from their muscles and joints on a day they decide to play ball with friends, on a weekend, for example.
However, straining can also happen in older people or people who have to do repetitive movements.
Symptoms of muscle strain
The main symptom is severe pain located near a joint that arises after a blow or run. In addition, the person may experience difficulty walking when the leg is affected, or difficulty moving the arm when the arm is affected. Thus, the characteristic signs of muscle strain are:
- Intense pain located near a joint;
- Muscle weakness;
- Difficulty moving the region affects, making it difficult to stay in the race or game, for example;
- Can generate a large purple mark, characteristic of blood leakage;
- The area tends to be swollen and may be a little warmer than usual.
After observing these symptoms, one should stop physical activity and immediately place a cold compress on the region to relieve pain. If it does not give in and it is still not possible to move normally, you should go to the doctor for imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound, which help to identify and classify the lesion, according to its severity:
|Grade 1 or Light||There is stretching of the fibers but no rupture of the muscular or tendinous fibers. There is pain, which subsides in 1 week.|
|Grade 2 or Moderate||There is a small tear in the muscle or tendon. Pain is more extensive, lasting 1 to 3 weeks|
|Grade 3 or Grave||The muscle or tendon is completely ruptured. There is intense pain, blood leakage, swelling and heat in the affected region.|
In severe strain, the rupture of the fibers can be felt by palpating the region and stretching the affected muscle does not cause pain and with the torn ligament, the joint tends to become more unstable.
What to do in case of suspicion
In case of suspicion of muscle strain, what should be done immediately is to place an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel for approximately 20 minutes, and seek medical help afterwards because although the signs and symptoms can confirm suspicion the only way to confirm muscle or tendon rupture is through exams.
How the treatment is done
Treatment is done with rest of the affected region, use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Cataflan in the form of an ointment and/or Ibuprofen in the form of a tablet, which must be taken under medical supervision, and the use of cold compresses or ice packs 3 to 4 times a day for up to 48 hours and physical therapy sessions.
Physiotherapy should be started as soon as possible to ensure the return to daily activities as soon as possible. Learn more details about how the Treatment for muscle strain is done, its signs of improvement and worsening.
See also how to complement this treatment in the following video:
How to avoid strain
Stretching the muscle beyond the pre-established body limit, or forcing a muscle too much, can easily generate a strain and cause the muscle to tear. Thus, to prevent muscle strain, the muscle must be kept properly strengthened and stretched constantly, respecting its body limitations and avoiding training alone, without professional guidance. However, even high competition athletes can suffer muscle strains and strains during their sports practice, but in any case, the objective of training is to prevent this from happening.