Muscle strains are common injuries that can happen to anyone at any age. They occur when the muscle fibers stretch or tear due to overexertion, improper use, or trauma. Muscle strains are painful and can cause significant discomfort, affecting the person’s ability to perform daily activities. In this article, we will explain what muscle strains are, how common they are, the most common locations for muscle strains, the most common causes, symptoms, problems, treatments, and why chiropractic care is an excellent choice for treating muscle strains.
What is a Muscle Strain?
A muscle strain, also known as a pulled muscle, is an injury that affects the muscle fibers. When the muscle is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, the muscle fibers may tear. The severity of the muscle strain can vary from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the damage. Mild strains may only cause slight discomfort, while severe strains can be very painful and may require medical attention.
How Common are Muscle Strains?
Muscle strains are a common injury that can happen to anyone, regardless of age or activity level. They are especially common in people who participate in sports, as well as people who have jobs that require repetitive motions or heavy lifting. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, muscle strains are the most common type of sports injury, accounting for up to 30% of all sports injuries.
What are the Most Common Locations for Muscle Strains?
Muscle strains can occur in any muscle in the body, but some areas are more susceptible than others. The most common locations for muscle strains are the lower back, neck, shoulders, and thighs. These areas are particularly vulnerable to strain due to the amount of stress they are under during everyday activities.
What are the Most Common Causes of Muscle Strains?
Muscle strains can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, overexertion, trauma, and improper use. Some of the most common causes of muscle strains include:
- Overuse – performing a repetitive motion over a prolonged period can cause muscle fatigue, leading to strains.
- Overexertion – pushing the muscle beyond its limit can cause the muscle fibers to tear.
- Trauma – a direct blow or impact to the muscle can cause a strain.
- Improper use – using poor technique or lifting heavy objects incorrectly can cause muscle strains.
What are the Symptoms of Muscle Strains?
The symptoms of a muscle strain can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Mild strains may only cause slight discomfort, while severe strains can be very painful and may require medical attention. Some of the most common symptoms of muscle strains include:
- Pain – the most common symptom of a muscle strain is pain in the affected area.
- Swelling – swelling can occur in the affected area, especially if the strain is severe.
- Limited mobility – depending on the location and severity of the strain, movement may be restricted.
- Muscle spasms – involuntary muscle contractions may occur in the affected area.
- Bruising – bruising may occur in severe cases where the muscle fibers have torn.
What Problems Can Muscle Strains Cause?
Muscle strains can cause significant problems, affecting a person’s ability to perform daily activities. The pain and discomfort can make it difficult to move or perform basic tasks, leading to a decreased quality of life. In severe cases, muscle strains can lead to long-term damage, such as chronic pain, weakness, and reduced mobility.
What are the Typical Treatments for Muscle Strains?
The treatment for muscle strains can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Mild strains may only require rest and basic self-care, while more severe strains may require medical attention. Some of the typical treatments for muscle strains include:
- Rest – resting the affected muscle is crucial to allow it to heal. This may involve reducing or stopping any physical activity that could further damage the muscle.
- Ice – applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Compression – wrapping the affected area with a compression bandage can help reduce swelling.
- Elevation – elevating the affected area above heart level can help reduce swelling.
- Medication – over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy – in more severe cases, physical therapy may be necessary to help strengthen the affected muscle and improve range of motion.
- Surgery – in very severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the muscle fibers.
What are the Common Side Effects of Typical Treatments for Muscle Strains?
While the typical treatments for muscle strains can be effective, they can also have side effects. For example, pain medication can cause stomach upset or other gastrointestinal issues. Surgery can have significant risks, including infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. Physical therapy can also be time-consuming and may not be covered by insurance.
Why is Chiropractic Care a Great Choice for Treating Muscle Strains?
Chiropractic care is an excellent choice for treating muscle strains for several reasons. First, it is non-invasive and does not involve surgery or medication, which can reduce the risk of side effects. Second, chiropractors can help decrease pain effectively and allow the strained muscle to heal more completely. Third, chiropractic care can decrease inflammation as well as increase range of motion and ease of movement.
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat muscle strains, including:
- Spinal adjustments – chiropractors can use spinal adjustments to help realign the spine, reducing pressure on the affected muscle.
- Extra-spinal adjustments – chiropractors can also adjust the joints of the extremities including shoulder, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and all of the joints of the hands and feet to reduce pressure on the affected muscle for strains that occur within the arms or legs.
- Soft tissue therapy – chiropractors can use soft tissue therapy, such as massage or stretching, to help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
- Laser therapy – chiropractors can utilize various kinds of laser light of different strengths and wavelengths to help decrease pain and inflammation as well as cut healing time by approximately 33%.
- Rehabilitation exercises – chiropractors can develop customized rehabilitation exercises to help strengthen the affected muscle and improve range of motion.
- Lifestyle modifications – chiropractors can provide guidance on lifestyle modifications, such as posture correction or dietary changes, to help prevent future injuries.
Muscle strains are a common injury that can cause significant pain and discomfort. They can occur in any muscle in the body, but some areas are more susceptible than others. Muscle strains can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, overexertion, trauma, and improper use. The treatment for muscle strains can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but chiropractic care is an excellent choice for treating muscle strains. Chiropractors use non-invasive techniques to help decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve range of motion, allowing the strained muscle to heal more completely. If you are suffering from a muscle strain, consider visiting Zumbrota Chiropractic so Dr. Post can help you heal and feel better as fast.