Muscle strain or muscle pull is a condition, which is characterized by damage to the muscles or its adjoining tendons. Undue pressure can be exerted on the muscle when you are carrying out routine activities such as sudden lifting of heavy things or playing contact sports. The damage to the muscle is usually in the form of partial or complete tearing of the tendons and fibres attached to the muscles. The small blood vessels in the muscles can also be damaged by the tearing of the muscles, leading to local bleeding and bruising.
The symptoms of muscle pain are:
- You will experience pain even while resting
- There will be bruising, swelling and redness around the affected area
- You will experience weakness of the muscles and tendons
- The movement and mobility of the muscle will be impaired
- You will experience pain when you use the affected muscles
The causes of a muscle strain are:
- Playing contact sports can lead to injuries
- Lifting heavy things
- Exercising without a proper warm up routine
- Lifting extremely heavy weights during exercise without proper acclimatization
- Sleeping on one side only for a long period of time
- Not stretching properly
- Falling from a height
The treatments for muscle strains are:
- Pain medications: You can opt for pain relieving medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help combat the associated pain of a muscle strain.
- Rice: Rice stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment is usually the first step after suffering a strain, before opting for medications. This treatment prevents further aggravation of the problem.
- Compress: You can alternate between hot and cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain.
- Stretches: Once the affected area has healed, it is important for you stretch the muscles to improve their mobility and strength. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Physiotherapist.