Know the Difference Between Stretch and Muscle Strain

Muscle stretching and stretching happen when the muscle stretches too much, due to excessive effort to perform a certain activity, which can lead to the rupture of muscle fibers, the muscle or the tendon involved.

The only difference that exists between stretching and muscle stretching is where the injury occurs:

  • Muscle stretch: the injury occurs in the red muscle fibers, which are located in the middle of the muscle.
  • Muscle distension: the injury occurs in the tendon or involves the muscle-tendon junction, which is exactly the place where the tendon and muscle join, close to the joint.

Although they have the same cause, symptoms, classification and treatment, they should not be used interchangeably, as they have different meanings, since the injury site is not the same.

Injury classification

Muscle strain and strain can be classified according to the severity of the injury into:

  • Grade 1, in which muscle or tendon fibers are stretched, but there is no rupture. Thus, the pain is milder and stops after about a week;
  • Grade 2, in which there is a small break in the muscle or tendon, which causes the most severe pain, recovery takes place in 8-10 weeks;
  • Grade 3, which is characterized by total rupture of the muscle or tendon, causing symptoms such as severe pain, swelling and heat in the injured region, recovery varies between 6 months to 1 year.

These two types of injury occur more frequently in the internal musculature, posterior and anterior thigh and calves, but can also happen in the back and arms. Understand more about muscle strain.

Main causes

The main cause of stretching and distention is the excessive effort to perform a muscle contraction, as in races, football, volleyball or basketball, for example. In addition, it can be caused by sudden movements, prolonged effort, muscle fatigue or inadequate training equipment.

To confirm the occurrence of a stretch or a strain, an MRI or ultrasound can be done, in addition to the evaluation of the symptoms by the doctor.

How the treatment is done

Treatment is done with the use of anti-inflammatories, such as Cataflam ointment or Ibuprofen, in addition to physical therapy sessions to speed up recovery. It is also important to rest when the pain starts to appear and to compress it with cold water or ice 3 to 4 times a day.

Watch the following video and learn more about the treatment of muscle stretching: