According to Chiropractor – Thomas Gehrmann, a muscle strain occurs when you overstretch the muscle and it becomes damaged or torn. This often happens when the muscle is stretched beyond its limit or forced to contract during your normal daily activities, lifting of heavyweight, sports exercise, among others. In mild cases, the muscle fibers are stretched or torn partially and can be reversed by resting or doing some specific exercise. In severe cases, the muscle fibers and tendons surrounding the muscle are completely torn and unable to function optimally. This often leads to pain, muscle weakness, muscle swelling, bleeding, bruising, and damage to small blood tissues which need immediate medical treatment.
Muscle strain can take place anywhere in the body however, it is common in the lower back, hamstring, neck, and shoulders. Read on as Thomas Gehrmann a licensed chiropractor in Colorado Springs takes us through its causes and treatment to get your muscle back in good shape.
Muscle Strain Grades
A muscle strain is graded based on its severity and the type of treatment needed says Thomas Gehrmann.
This is a mild strain to the muscle fibers, only a small part is stretched and the individual still retains its normal strength.
Damage to the muscle fibers is moderate. However, it is accompanied by severe muscle pain, loss of strength, mild swelling, and a noticeable bruise. Full recovery often takes two to three months.
This is a complete shearing away of the muscle from its tendons. Grade 3 muscle strain is a serious injury that can lead to discoloration of the muscle fibers, pain in the affected area, swelling, and sometimes complete loss of muscle function. This kind of condition is often treated by surgery.
Causes of Muscle Strain
A muscle strain is caused by improper use of the muscle such as poor flexibility or not warming up properly before starting weight lighting exercise. Poor body mechanics, fatigue, or persistent stretching of muscle in one area can also lead to muscle strain. More so, muscle stiffness during the lower temperature, poor posture, and practicing sport activities such as running, soccer, basketball, tennis, football, can strain the muscle over time.
Treatment of Muscle Strain
From home remedies to surgery, here are ways you can treat muscle strains:
Resting is very important when you have a muscle strain. It helps speeds up the healing process of the muscle and also reduces pain in the affected area therefore, take some time off and rest your muscle especially if there is an increase in pain when you walk. Start using the affected muscle slowly after a few days and stay away from painful activities
Ice helps to minimize swelling and bruising. Be careful with the ice and do not apply directly to your skin. You can wrap the ice in a towel or use an ice pack. Keep it on the affected muscle for 20-30 minutes and repeat the same procedure for several days.
Compress the affected muscle by using an elastic bandage to wrap it recommended by Thomas Gehrmann Chiropractor. This decreases swelling of the area and also provides support to the muscle but avoid wrapping it tightly as it can reduce blood circulation to the area.
Use the Elevation Method
Propping up the injured leg while sitting helps to reduce swelling and pain in the area.
Over the counter, medicine such as NSAIDs can be used to relieve pain and increase mobility. However, it is not advisable if you have kidney disease or you are on other medication. You can also talk to your doctor who will recommend the perfect medicine for you.
Surgery is sometimes the way out when the muscle is completely torn from its tendons and needs to be replaced.