Muscle strains are incredibly common and can happen in any part of the body, occurring when the muscle stretches beyond its normal range, or when you work it too quickly or too hard.
Not all muscle strains are created equal, however, and it’s important to know how severe the injury is as this will dictate what kind of treatment is required. Grade one muscle strains occur when slight damage is done to the muscle fibres. In this instance, you might experience some tenderness and slight pain, but normal strength should be retained.
Grade two strains, meanwhile, involve more serious damage to the fibres and you’ll likely experience pain, along with potential bruising and swelling.
And grade three muscle strains involve a complete tear through the entire muscle, resulting in severe pain and lots of bruising and swelling. It’s possible that you’ll lose all the strength in the affected muscle and if you’ve damaged your leg, it’s likely that you won’t be able to put any weight on it.
There’s a lot you can do at home to help ease your symptoms if you do think you’ve pulled or strained a muscle. Rest it immediately to protect it from sustaining further damage, but aim to get it moving as soon as you can, only working within your comfortable range of motion to help rebuild muscle strength.
Icing the affected area can also help with symptoms and it’s advisable to put ice on your injury every two hours for around 20 minutes at a time. Also consider compression therapy, which involves wrapping a bandage around the injury, removing it once again before you go to bed.
And finally, elevation can also be beneficial in reducing pain and swelling, while draining any excess fluid from the injury site.
If your symptoms don’t improve or you have recurring injuries, it might be advisable to see a physiotherapist. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today.