Muscle strains are so common. We will all probably experience a muscle strain at least once in our lives. Muscle work by contracting and relaxating. Muscles love to move and don’t do so well when are kept still or static. People who sit at desks for long periods of time are more commonly assciated with straining muscles when exercises than those who are generally more active during the day. The reason for this is because musles will stiffen and tighten building up tension knots when working statically against gravity. During exercise muscles need to lengthen. So when you try to exercise those tight muscles they may strain or pull. A strain is where there is a mild microtrauma in the muscle. It is usually a sign that the muscle is telling you that you need to address it before a more serious muscle injury occurs.
When you experience a muscle strain the muscle will feel tender and tight. There would be no swelling with a muscle strain. You will still be able to move your limb but you will feel mild to moderate discomfort. Sometimes muscle strains settle on their own. But if they don’t settle within 24 hours seek physiotherapy treatment because it may be a sign that the muscle needs to be treated properly for it to heal and to prevent a more serious injury occuring when you return to normal activity. Rest is usually the best for the first 24 hours. Heat and mild stretching can help but only if it is a strain and not a muscle tear! If your symptoms continue past 24 hours, contact the clinic to make an appointment with one of the physiotherapists. We will be happy to assess your muscle pain, provide treatment and give advice on self treatment. Sometimes a severe muscle strain can be treated in one session by physiotherapist depending on the degree of strain.