Pulled muscle

The muscle strain is a very common injury in athletes, but it can affect everyone, even people who move little.

Physiologically, the strain of the muscle is the stretching of the muscle fibers beyond the limit.

It resembles pulling on a spring until it loses its elasticity and can no longer return to its starting position.


Symptoms of muscle strain

The symptoms of this condition are:

  1. Swelling;
  2. Inflammation;
  3. Muscle;
  4. hematoma due to capillary ruptures; it is usually very small and resembles a bruise, while in the case of muscle tear its spread is greater;
  5. restrictions on movement;
  6. loss of strength;
  7. Muscle stiffness.

Fever is not a symptom of muscle strain.

Muscles are located in every part of the body. Thus, a muscle strain can happen anywhere. Some areas of the body are more affected:

  1. back in the lumbar region,
  2. Breast
  3. Thighs and calf.

Rarely, a child with a muscle strain or a muscle tear presents to the doctor. Most often, such a violation occurs only after the age of 15.

Muscle strain in thighs and leg

The thigh has many muscles that work together during running and physical exertion. This promotes muscle strains in this region.
Footballers may experience a muscle strain of the adductors (inside of the thigh), but usually the most affected muscles are the quadriceps femoris (especially near the groin) and the biceps femoris (posterior thigh).
The biceps femoris belongs to the ischiocrural group, which are the knee flexors, which are located in the back of the thigh.
He can be dragged during vigorous football play, especially if the athlete has not warmed up properly.


  1. Swelling
  2. Muscle
  3. Loss of muscle strength
  4. Bruises
  5. Rigid muscle structure

The calf muscles stiffen and hurt when walking and climbing stairs.
If the symptoms are ignored, they worsen.
Patients with strong calves are prone to strains and muscle tears. In practice, you can see people who have suffered these injuries during a simple walk.

Muscle strain on neck and shoulders

Strains on the trapezius The trapezius
is a large muscle that connects the neck, shoulders and upper back.
The muscle extends from the base of the neck over the back to the shoulders. The trapezius is formed by two triangular muscle fascia that resemble a diamond (or trapezoid).

Causes and symptoms
The muscle is damaged when exposed to repetitive loads that lead to micro-injuries of the ligaments.
This muscle often shows tension, especially on the left side.

The strain of the trapezius can be the result of poor posture over a long period of time.
People who work hours in front of a computer often suffer from these complaints.
With whiplash, the head moves very quickly forward and backward: this movement can lead to a strain; picking up and transporting heavy objects (e.g. backpack or bag) can also cause this problem.
One should pay attention to the posture in sleep.
Many people sleep in the wrong position or lie on pillows that are too soft.
These habits cause pain in the muscles of the neck and shoulders.

Muscle strain in the chest

A muscle strain in the large pectoral muscle can cause great discomfort and lead to movement restrictions.
The thoracic muscles are the strongest among the body muscles and can be pulled if they are used too much.
A long overuse or injury to the chest muscles leads to laceration (tear) of these muscle structures.

Athletes who do bodybuilding and take anabolic steroids have a higher risk of a strain or tear of the pectoral muscles.

Symptoms of muscle strain in the chest: A torn muscle in the chest shows the following symptoms in the first 24 hours:

  1. Inflammation of the muscle
  2. Sudden pain or manifestation of pain in the first 6-8 hours
  3. Movement problems

Muscle strain in the arm

The only muscle strain in the arm that can be seen in patients concerns the brachial biceps.
It can occur after exertion, but especially after a violent movement, for example after a punch in a boxing match.
The triceps and forearm muscles are usually not prone to this injury.

Muscle strain in the abdominal muscles

The abdominal wall is formed by many muscles. The abdominal muscle structures perform some very important bodily functions:

  • Support of the body trunk
  • Stabilization of the pelvis
  • Stabilization of the upper body when standing and walking
  • Performing hull rotations

The main cause of an abdominal muscle strain is overuse, which occurs in certain situations.
This happens with sudden and violent movements of the trunk or legs.
Often such complaints occur when heavy objects are lifted, pushed or pulled or during competitive sports such as breaststroke, hockey. Football, etc. An overweight person who does sports after a long period of inactivity can suffer a strain.
In them, even small contractions that occur during a cough, sneezing or laughing can lead to abdominal muscle strains.

Muscle strain in the back

Some people believe that muscle strain is one of the most common causes of back pain. In fact, muscle tension is much more common.
A strain of muscle structures in the back is described as very severe pain and a feeling of muscle tension. Often this phase is very painful and narrows the range of motion of the spine.

  1. If there is a muscle strain in the left flank, the patient can not bend the spine to the right side.
  2. In case of injury to the right flank, the person concerned cannot bend to the left.

Rarely, the patient suffers a strain of the gluteal muscles.
If the strain is very severe, the person may have difficulties even in the simplest activities, such as getting out of bed.

There are many causes that can lead to a back muscle strain. A wrong posture forces the back muscles to do more work, the muscles are severely overwhelmed.
Often, when lifting heavy weights or transporting heavy objects, the muscles are overloaded if the wrong technique is used.

If exercises are performed that stress the lumbar spine, this can lead to a muscle strain.
This also happens if the position changes too quickly.

A fall or strange twisting of the trunk causes strains in the lumbar and dorsal back area.

Muscle strain in the lumbar region or upper back

Symptoms of muscle strain on the back include:

  1. muscle stiffness,
  2. Swelling
  3. pain in the affected area,
  4. Heat.

The main symptom is a sharp pain in the back where muscles are injured.
In some cases, the discomfort persists, while in other cases it occurs only with a certain back position.
With a muscle disorder, inflammation develops and you feel overheating and burning. The affected area feels hot. This is the result of increased blood flow in the pulled area.

How to recognize a muscle strain? Diagnosis

The examination procedure that can distinguish a strain from a muscle tear and a contracture is echography of skeletal muscle.

What to do? Treatment of muscle strain

In case of severe swelling and pain, one can take drugs from the group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and ibuprofen (Aktren). Many of these active ingredients cause side effects such as stomach pain and stomach ulcer.
Before taking any medication, one should consult the doctor.
Alternatively, you can apply an ointment such as Dolormin pain gel (ketoprofen) and voltaren® (diclofenac).
To relax the muscles, methocarbamol (Ortoton) can be taken, although some people get diarrhea on it.

The most effective and fastest therapy is certainly Tecartherapy, a treatment based on electrical microcurrents that stimulates the absorption of inflammatory fluid as well as the relaxation of muscle fibers.
Before the invention of Tecar, laser therapy was used to treat together with ultrasound, which produces excellent results.
Massage therapy can bring the same results as apparatus therapy, but manual pressure from the physiotherapist can cause severe pain to the patient.
Stretching is contraindicated as long as the patient has muscle complaints. It can make the strain even worse.

Natural remedies

Homeopathic remedies such as arnica ointment are one of the options with fewer side effects.

Herbal compresses
Therapeutic herbs are placed on the muscle. Alternatively, ointments with essential oils can be applied to the affected areas to speed up blood circulation and the healing process. In Asian culture, this remedy has been known for centuries for slight strains.

Be quiet
Rest is the crucial phase of this treatment. One should immediately stop the activity that causes pain. One should refrain from exercises and spare the painful area in the following 2 or 3 days. Only then can you slowly resume all activities.

High positions that relieve
the affected limb You should raise the affected limb during this time. Raising the arm or leg helps drain away the excessive fluid accumulation.
The effect of gravity helps in the improvement of swelling and muscle pain.
You can rest the limb on a few pillows.
In case of discomfort of a muscle in the back or neck, the prone position is the best position.

Wrapping the affected limb with an elastic bandage serves to reduce swelling. This increases the elastic resistance, promotes the absorption of the liquid and restricts movement.

Ice or heat?

When to put
ice cream 
Ice cream should be laid on as soon as possible. The low temperature of the ice slows down blood flow in the injured zone. This treatment prevents swelling because it leads to vasoconstriction.
Ice “numbs” the nerves and dampens the feeling of pain. You must not put ice directly on the skin, as this can lead to a burn that lasts for a few days.
Ice cream should be placed for 20 minutes with 2 hours break. This treatment is carried out on the first day.

When to apply
After the first day, a heat source must be applied to the muscle.
In the initial phases, the ice layer slows down the blood flow, as a result, heat causes an increase in blood circulation in the affected muscle.
This mechanism prevents muscle spasms and promotes muscle relaxation and cellular metabolism.
Heat should be applied at least once a day for 20 minutes.
Putting ice packs on 24 hours after the injury slows down the healing process because cold blocks cellular activity.

How long does a muscle strain last?

The duration varies. With appropriate therapy, the healing time is about a week, but without treatment, the pain can persist for over a month.

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