What are muscle strains? A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, happens when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This generally happens as a result of fatigue, overuse, or incorrect use of a muscle. Stress can occur in any muscle, however they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh.
These pressures can cause pain and might restrict movement within the impacted muscle group. Mild-to-moderate strains can be successfully treated at home with ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory medications. Severe stress or tears may need medical treatment.
Symptoms of Muscle Strains
You’ll normally feel a muscle strain as it happens. Symptoms include:
- sudden beginning of pain
- minimal series of motion
- bruising or discoloration
- a “knotted-up” feeling
- muscle spasms
In a mild strain, a torn muscle may feel a little stiff but still versatile enough for use. A severe muscle strain is when the muscle is severely torn. This leads to pain and very restricted motion.
The symptoms of mild-to-moderate muscle pressures typically disappear within a few weeks. More severe stress might take months to recover.
Causes of Muscle Strains
An intense muscle strain is when your muscle tears suddenly and suddenly. Such tears can happen either from injuries or injury. This can be due to:
- not heating up effectively before physical activity
- poor versatility
- bad conditioning
- overexertion and tiredness.
There is a mistaken belief that just rigorous exercises and exercises of high strength cause muscle pressures. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, muscle pressures can even happen from walking.
An acute strain can occur when you:
- slip or lose your footing
- throw something
- lift something heavy
- lift something while in you’re in an uncomfortable position.
Intense muscle pressures are also more common in winter. This is because muscles are stiffer in lower temperature levels. It’s important to take additional time to warm up in these conditions to avoid stress.
Chronic muscle strains are the result of repetitive motion. This can be due to:
- sports like rowing, tennis, golf, or baseball
- holding your back or neck in an awkward position for extended periods of time, such as when you operate at a desk
- bad posture.
Emergency Treatment for Muscle Strains
Many muscle pressures can be effectively treated at home. According to the Mayo Clinic, minor muscle pressures can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Avoid using your muscle for a few days, especially if movement causes an increase in pain. Too much rest can cause muscles to end up being weak, which can lengthen the healing process. After two days, slowly begin using the impacted muscle group, making sure not to overdo it.
Apply ice right away after injuring your muscle. This will lessen swelling. Don’t put ice straight on your skin. Use an ice pack or cover ice in a towel. Keep the ice on your muscle for about 20 minutes. Repeat every hour on the first day. For the next several days, apply ice every four hours.
To reduce swelling, wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage up until swelling boils down. Take care not to wrap the area too securely, as this can reduce your blood circulation.
Whenever possible, keep the injured muscle raised above the level of your heart.
Other self-care approaches include the following:
- Use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil). This will help keep pain and swelling down. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can assist with pain.
- After 3 days, apply heat to the muscle a number of times a day. This will help bring blood flow to the area for healing.
- Do not rest your muscle for too long. This can cause tightness and weakness. Begin light stretching as soon as possible. Slowly increase your level of activity.
- When you go back to typical activity, ensure to stretch and warm up prior to working out. This will help increase blood circulation to your muscles and reduce you risk of injury.
- You must make an effort to remain in shape. You’re less most likely to suffer a strain if your muscles are strong and healthy.
If your muscle strain is severe, you may require medical attention. Physical therapy might also be suggested.
When to see a doctor
For mild-to-moderate pressures, home treatment must suffice. Look for medical attention if any of the following happens:
- The pain doesn’t diminish after a week.
- The injured area is numb.
- There’s blood coming from your injury.
- You cannot walk.
- You can’t move your arms or legs.
A health examination and imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans, can help your doctor identify the level of your injury. Treatment might include anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling, along with physical therapy to assist strengthen the muscle and restore motion.
In really severe cases, surgery might be needed to fix the muscle.
How to Avoid Muscle Strains
You can reduce your chances of straining a muscle if you take some basic safety measures.
- Try not to sit in one position for too long. Take frequent breaks to move and change position. Use a chair that offers good support for your lower back or use a pillow for support. Try to keep your knees level with your hips.
- Maintain great posture when standing and sitting. If you invest a long period of time in one position, aim to alternate putting one foot and after that the other on a low footstool. This can help reduce stress on your back muscles.
- Lift things carefully. Keep your back straight, bend at the knees, and constantly raise with your legs. Hold the weight close to your body. Don’t lift and twist at the same time.
- Take precautions to prevent falls, such as holding hand rails on staircases, preventing slippery surfaces, and keeping your floors uncluttered.
- Lose excess weight.
- Use shoes that fit appropriately.
Routine workout can keep your muscles healthy and strong, however proper strategies are likewise essential in preventing muscle strains. Always stretch and warm up prior to taking part in exercise. Similarly, make the effort to stretch after each exercise or session of physical activity to prevent muscle stiffness. If you are brand-new to exercising, start slowly and build up your activity a little at a time.
It’s essential that you comprehend your body’s restrictions. If something doesn’t feel right during an activity, stop instantly.
Health Tips for Muscle Strain
Recovery time depends on the seriousness of the injury. For a mild strain, you may have the ability to go back to normal activities within 3 to 6 weeks with fundamental home care. For more severe pressures, recovery can take numerous months. In severe cases, surgical repair work and physical therapy might be needed.
With appropriate treatment, most people recover completely. You can enhance your chances of recovery by taking actions to avoid getting the same injury again. Follow your doctor’s instructions after surgery, and do not participate in strenuous physical activity up until your muscles have healed.