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We all have days where we feel a little under the weather. Sometimes our jobs and stresses can leave us feeling tired and under pressure, and we can also be exposed to different illnesses and injuries. That is why people should strive to stay safe and healthy at all times so they can perform well both mentally and physically for a better life.
A problem that many people face is that they’re unaware of when they’re actually sick. People can overlook their signs and symptoms or wait till they subside on their own. This is especially dangerous with physical issues that can get progressively worse over time if not treated quickly and properly. That is why it is important to know about the common medical problems most people face so they can deal with them. One of these issues is muscle straining.
Muscle strains – the discomfort and pain that is shared globally
People who play sports or perform tough physical jobs like construction workers are very familiar with muscle strains. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, muscle strains are very common in sports. The study validates this by saying that muscle injuries make up more than 30% of all injuries, which shows that a professional soccer team can face an average of 12 muscular strains every season, which can result in 300 missed sporting days.
A common myth that many people believe is that when you get injured you just need to rest to solve the problem. However, you should know that your muscles require moderate daily exercise to stay healthy and in shape. You should change your training to accommodate your muscle strains. Contact Pillars of Wellness to find out what exercises work for you.
What are muscle strains?
A muscle strain is commonly mistaken as a sprain. According to HealthLine, a muscle strain is essentially a pulled muscle that gets torn or overstretched during any physical trauma. Sprains on the other hands affect the joints.
Muscle strains generally occur because of fatigue, overexertion, or muscle use that is improper. They can affect any muscle, but most commonly affect the lower back, neck, shoulder, and thighs. Muscle strains can result in significant pain and can limit movement in the affected area. In sports, the hamstrings, quads, and adductors usually the ones that are affected.
The Translational Medicine @UniSa states that muscle injuries commonly affect patients above the age of 40 who play sports. This is because of the obvious muscle degeneration that comes with age. Muscle injuries in sports can be seen prevalent in 11% of rugby players, 16% of runners and 18% of basketball players.
What are the causes?
Muscle injuries can affect anyone. Activities that can result in strained muscles are:
- athletic activity and sports
- sudden motion
- suddenly or generally lifting heavy objects
- sudden coughing
- muscle tears or stretching because of irregular work tasks
What are the signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of muscle strains can vary for every person depending on the severity of their injury. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the affected muscle and area
- Swelling of the area because of infection or trauma
- Muscle spasms that can start suddenly and can get progressively worse
- Limited movement of the affected muscles
- Discomfort when moving the affected muscles
You should make an appointment with Pillars of Wellness to get a proper professional consultation if you feel that you have any of these signs and symptoms, so you can treat your muscle strains.
How do you diagnose muscle strains?
Your doctor can diagnose a muscle strain by taking your medical history and performing a physical examination, both of which are needed to get a clear idea of the problems you’re facing and what the underlying cause could be. Muscle movement and sensation are all tested to see whether it is partially or completely torn.
If your doctor needs some more details, they can ask for a higher degree of testing including imaging tests like X-rays or laboratory analysis to check for cases of bone, joint or muscle trauma, and any underlying infections. Very rarely, doctors can ask you for a CT or MRI scan to get a clearer diagnosis of the problem.
What are the treatment options?
Usually, muscle strains could generally be dealt with at the luxury of your home without any clinical or surgical involvement. Slight muscle strains could be treated with RICE, that is:
Rest: Avoid moving or exercising with the affected muscles for a few days and try moderate exercise to keep them healthy.
Ice: Apply a cold ice compress to the injured muscles to reduce swelling for about 20 minutes. Repeat the compress after each hour on the first day, and then after every four hours for the next few days
Compression: Bandage the affect areas to provide decent compression to minimize the swelling. Don’t wrap the area too tightly which can decrease blood circulation.
Elevation: Keep the injured muscles elevated to improve circulation for faster healing.
Other conservative treatments include:
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication
- Hot compresses
- Light exercises
- Foam rolling
- Deep tissue massage
- Warmups and stretching
- Physical therapy
If your muscle strain is severe, get a consult at Pillars of Wellness to get the proper physical therapy for your problem.
How Matt Reynolds didn’t let his muscle strain stop him
Matt Reynolds tore his left pec while doing a 450-pound bench press. He felt a small muscle spasm but still pushed through his training. The spasm intensified and Reynolds could suddenly feel his muscle tearing, making it difficult to train at his full strength. He tried icing his injury, but the pain and limited movement were too debilitating, and so Reynolds finally went for physical therapy. Soon, he was back to his training feeling better than ever!
Pillars of Wellness provides people with holistic nutrition, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, physiotherapy and other therapeutic services. You can get experienced physical therapists who effectively treat all muscle injuries and strains, so make an appointment now!