A torn muscle or muscle strain is defined as a partial tear in that specific part of the body that can damage the internal structures of your muscles. It can be so small that the medical expert can only see it through a microscope. However, it can also be severe enough to cause internal bleeding and lengthening of the muscle fibers. It is also known as the muscle rupture.
Major Causes Of Muscle Strain
This condition can be caused by an excessive amount of tension or stress that is applied to the muscle which it cannot withstand. It can happen in several ways. Below is a list of possible scenarios.
This can happen if the muscles are not ready for sudden stress.
The pension may be too much for the muscles to bear. (too much heavy lifting)
Overuse of Muscles
In addition to this, there are certain areas of the body with muscles that are more likely to be strained than others. Some of these are as follows.
- Thighs or Calf
Furthermore, any muscles that go across two joints is at risk of developing strain. This is why warmup exercises are very important to prevent tearing from ever happening. Aside from these, there are other risk factors that you need to keep in mind if you want to understand more about muscle tears.
As mentioned earlier, there are some risk factors that you need to remember in order for you to have more understanding about the condition. These risk factors include:
- Tight muscles
- Cold weather
- Over exertion
- Any kind of athletic activities especially jumping and running.
Signs and Symptoms of Muscle Strain
Symptoms will depend upon the major causes of muscle strain. For muscle strain caused by athletic activities, here are some of the following symptoms.
- Soreness of the affected area
- Pain when using the affected muscles
- Tenderness in the area
- Bumps and bruises
- Slight movement of joints near the affected area may also cause pain
In addition, running and lifting weights can cause this type of muscle strain.
Stress related muscle pain occurs when you do end up if it be that your body is not used to doing. This means that your body is not fit to do that specific kind of activity. You may not be able to feel pain during the activity itself. However, pain will occur the next day. It will also reverberate through different muscle sets in the body.
Furthermore, muscles will be very sore and tender because of this condition.
To diagnose, the doctor will ask you a series of questions about the symptoms as well as your recent physical activity. Through these questions, he will find out how the injury may have occurred. Physical examinations in the injured area will also be in order.
The doctor will examine for tenderness of the muscles as well as pain during contractions specifically against some kind of resistance.
Here are some of the following tests that a patient may undergo if he or she has a muscle tear.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans
This kind of test uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures within the body. This is usually done for athletes to determine whether or not they will be able to return to their sport.
This test will use sound waves to examine your body.
The CT scans
This is a type of X-ray that will use a computer to take pictures of your internal organs. With these tests, diagnosis will be made easier and more accurate by the experts.
Just like symptoms, treatment will depend upon the type of strain that your muscles may be involved in. Treatment plans will usually include the following.
- Application of ice
- Compression elevation of the affected area
- Specific medications (Oral, nonsteroidal and anti-inflammatory)
- Regular application of heat
It is extremely important that you have enough rest in order to relieve yourself of the pain. Do not play sports until the pain is gone. In addition, walk in shorter strides. Applying cold compress to the injured area for about 15 to 20 minutes four times a day for many days will help relieve the pain. However, remember not to apply cold compress directly to the skin.
For medicines, there are different types of drugs that you can get if you want relief. You can get creams or patches that you can apply to the skin. However, these medications can also hide the symptoms. One clue that can indicate that you may still have muscle problems would be tenderness in the affected area. If you still have tenderness, do not do any physical activity just yet. Contact your doctor right away for immediate examination.
Compression and elevation can decrease swelling. In addition, use heat only if you are returning to any kind of activity that you used to do. Also, use it before stretching or exercising. Start gentle stretches as soon as acute pain is gone. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat for six times. Do stretching four times a day.
Strengthening your injured muscles is also very important. This is because it becomes weaker when not in use. However, it would be best to do strengthening exercises under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Here are some additional preventive measures in order for you to reduce any chances of incurring muscle strain in the future.
- It is extremely important for you to keep your muscles strong so that they can absorb energy from stressful activities more effectively.
- In addition, after a short warm up, it is important for you to stretch out your muscles. This has more significance for any previously injured muscle.
- Furthermore, you should learn the proper techniques when doing physical activities. This will reduce stress in your muscles.
- Most importantly, you should learn to take periodic rests when you are tired. Tired muscles will not be able to function well and react to stress properly.
- Lastly, if you are diagnosed with a torn muscle, it is important that you follow doctors’ orders when it comes to dealing with it so that you will not have it any worse than it already is.