How to identify and treat muscle strain

Muscle strain occurs when a muscle stretches too much, causing the rupture of some muscle fibers or the entire tendon or muscle involved. This type of injury occurs, more specifically in the tendon or in the muscle-tendon junction, which is the location of the union between the muscle and the tendon, close to the joint.

The causes of muscle strain include excessive effort to perform a muscle contraction, during running, football, volleyball or basketball, for example, and that is why muscle stretching is very common in people who are preparing 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 that decides to play ball with friends, on a weekend, for example.

However, stretching can also happen in older people or in people who have repetitive movements and usually suffer from tendonitis.

Symptoms of muscle strain

The main symptom is severe pain located near a joint that arises after a stroke or stroke. In addition, the person may experience difficulty walking when the leg is affected, or difficulty moving the arm when it is affected. Thus, the characteristic signs of muscle strain are:

  • Severe pain located near a joint;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Difficulty in moving the region affects, being difficult to stay in the race or in the game, for example;
  • It can generate a large purple mark, characteristic of blood leakage;
  • The region tends to get swollen and can get a little hotter than normal.

After observing these symptoms, one should stop physical activity and immediately place a cold compress on the area to relieve pain. If this does not give way and it is still not possible to move normally, you should go to the doctor to perform imaging tests such as magnetic resonance or ultrasound, which help to identify and classify the lesion, according to its severity:

Grade 1 or SlightThere is stretching of the fibers but without rupture of the muscle or tendon fibers. There is pain, which subsides in 1 week.
Grade 2 or ModerateThere is a small laceration in the muscle or tendon. Pain is more extensive, lasting 1 to 3 weeks
Grade 3 or SevereThe muscle or tendon breaks completely. There is severe pain, blood leakage, swelling and heat in the affected region.

In severe stretching, you can feel the rupture of the fibers 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

If a muscle strain is suspected, what should be done immediately is to place an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel, for approximately 20 minutes, and seek medical help to follow because although the signs and symptoms may confirm the suspicion the only way to confirm the rupture of the muscle or tendon is through exams.

Treatment for muscle strain

The 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 guidance, and the use of cold compresses or ice is also indicated. 3 to 4 times a day for up to 48 hours and physiotherapy sessions.

Physiotherapy should be started as soon as possible to guarantee a return to daily activities as soon as possible. Find out more details about how the treatment for muscle strain is made, its signs of improvement and worsening.

See also how to complement this treatment in the following video:

How to avoid

Stretching the muscle beyond the pre-established body limit, or pushing a muscle too hard, can easily cause a strain and cause the muscle to break. Thus, to prevent muscle strain, the muscle must be kept duly strengthened and stretched constantly, respecting your body limitations and avoiding training alone, without professional guidance. However, even high-level athletes can experience muscle strains and strains during their sports practice, but in any case, the goal of training is to prevent this from happening.