Muscle Strain

Sweetwater Sports Medicine of Oakbend Medical Center

Physical Therapist located in Sugar Land, TX

Pain and tenderness in a muscle may indicate that you’ve strained or torn some of the muscle fiber. While some muscle strains can heal on their own, a bad strain may require rehabilitation at Sweetwater Sports Medicine at Oakbend Medical Center in Sugar Land, Texas. The caring team specializes in muscle stains, relieving your pain and getting you on the road to recovery. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Muscle Strain Q & A

What is a muscle strain?

A muscle strain occurs when you overstretch or harshly contract your muscle, causing a tear in the muscle fiber. Muscle strains are categorized based on the degree of the tear.

  • Grade I strain: mild, with only a few torn fibers; you have some pain, but your strength remains
  • Grade II strain: moderate amount of fiber tears; you have more pain and less strength
  • Grade III strain: a complete tear of the muscle; you have pain, swelling, and loss of strength

Muscle strains are a common sports injury, but they can affect anyone at any time. Depending on the degree of the strain, it may take up to 10 weeks to heal.

What are the symptoms of a muscle strain?

Common symptoms of a muscle strain include:

  • Pain and tenderness at the site of the tear
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Bruising or swelling
  • A dent in the muscle
  • Loss of muscle strength

In a grade III tear, you may hear a pop-like sound as the muscle tears.

How is a muscle strain treated?

Treatment for a muscle strain depends on the grade of the strain. For the less severe grade I and II strains, options include:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Muscle relaxant

For a severe grade II or III strain, you may need to see an orthopedic specialist for casting or surgery. Due to the nature of the more severe strains, you also need physical or occupational therapy to improve strength and function of the muscle and to prevent further injury.

What does rehabilitation entail?

Rehabilitation for a strained muscle at Sweetwater Sports Medicine consists of a personalized treatment plan to help improve the strength and function of the affected muscle. It might include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Stretching
  • Home exercise program

The goal of treatment is to reduce your pain and get your muscle back to its normal functioning.

How can I prevent a muscle strain?

Muscle strains aren’t always preventable, but you can take some precautions to protect your muscles, such as:

  • Making stretching exercises a regular part of your daily routine
  • Warming up before engaging in physical activity
  • Starting an exercise program if you’re not already active to improve muscle health

If you’re in the recovery stage of a muscle strain, call the office or book an appointment online to start treatment.