Muscle strains are popularly called “pulled muscles” by most fitness enthusiasts. They are one of the easiest injuries you can get while working out. You don’t have to be Usain Bolt in the making of a pull a muscle. They usually happen once you have overstretched, during your fitness routines.
Muscle strains can be painful. They limit movement, especially when it’s a grade 3 muscle strain. Grade 3 is a medical term for total rupture of the muscle. You can usually treat Grade 1 and 2 strains at home with ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications.
It’s also important to point out that a muscle strain is not the same as a muscle sprain. Both sound similar, and many people use them interchangeably. However, a muscle strain is the overstretching or tearing of a tendon or muscle. A muscle sprain is a stretching of the ligaments, which hold two bones together.
Muscle sprains commonly occur in the joints of the knees, ankles, and wrists. With strains, the most common locations are within the hamstring, calf, and groin.
Treating a Muscle Strain
Recuperation and therapy are the best forms of treatment when dealing with a muscle strain. The exception is in severe cases where the tendon requires surgery. You always want to research local physiotherapists, such as by searching for “physiotherapy in Brampton, Ontario” if you’re in Brampton. Therapy, when handled by a competent physiotherapist, will not only treat the injury. It also will provide detailed information on the likely causes and preventive measures to stop the injury from recurring.
How does Therapy Help You Recover from a Muscle Strain?
A kick-start on your journey toward recovery depends on the extent of your muscle strain. The physiotherapist will begin by assessing your injury history. They will inquire as to how and when your current injury occurred.
A physical evaluation of the location of the strain will also take place immediately. The evaluation helps the physiotherapist evaluate the severity of the strain. It also helps to estimate recovery time and develop a treatment plan. The physiotherapist also details out suggestions to prevent recurrence of the injuries. The plan is based on your body type and injury history.
Any physiotherapy should properly address your injury as well as long-term recovery goals. As such, your treatment plan likely will involve a mix of manual-based physiotherapy techniques and standard physiotherapy methods such as:
• Manipulative therapy (also called manual therapy). Manual therapy, also called “hands-on” helps relax your sore or hurting muscles. It leads to a reduction in pain. It can either be in the form of soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, or joint manipulation. When incorporated into your treatment plan, manual therapy helps optimize your recovery.
• Stretching and flexibility exercises. Without a doubt, it’s easy to get this wrong. That is why it is critical that a competent physiotherapist develops the routine. The best form of stretching when rehabilitating is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. This was developed specifically as a form of injury rehabilitation. When done properly, it improves muscular strength and flexibility. The effect is a reduction in the chance of the injury reoccurring.
• Ultrasound heat therapy. This involves deep heating of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments). Using ultrasound improves extensibility and circulation to the affected parts. This improves the ability to stretch while reducing pain.
• Deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage mainly treats injuries such as muscle strains and other sports injuries. This is because of its ability to decrease inflammation, improve circulation, and reduce muscle tension.
If religiously followed, recovery from a muscle strain can be swift under the care of a competent physiotherapist. Most importantly, you are also schooled on the best ways to prevent a re-occurrence.