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Muscle Strain

Last updated: October 23, 2017

What Does Muscle Strain Mean?

A muscle strain is an injury of a muscle or tendon caused by a tearing or over-stretching of muscle fibers or tendons. It occurs as results of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of any muscle, though, usually lower back, neck, shoulder and thigh. Muscle strains may develop during accidents, physical activities, running, playing, jumping, throwing, lifting something heavy or lifting in an awkward position, etc..

A muscle strain is also known as a pulled muscle.

Safeopedia Explains Muscle Strain

A muscle strain usually causes pain and limits movement of the affected body part. Symptoms of muscle strains include sudden pain, movement restriction, a knotted up feeling, muscle spasms and stiffness, etc.. Simple strains can be treated at home with cold ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory medications. Severe strains may require diagnostics and medical treatment. Muscle strains require anywhere from a week to a few months to heal.

Treatment of muscle strains includes the following:

  • Rest - avoid using the affected muscle
  • Ice - apply ice immediately after the injury occurs
  • Compression - wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage
  • Elevate - injured muscle may be kept raised above the heart level
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heat - apply heat to the muscle several times a day, usually beginning two days after the incident
  • Stretching - light stretching helps to reduce stiffness
  • Warm up - warm up before exercising to avoid muscle strains from sudden movement
  • Stay in shape - strong and healthy people are less likely to suffer from muscle strains and heal faster

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