The Basics of Muscle Strain: How To Cope With Pain

A strain and a sprain are two words that are often used interchangeably. However, these two are very different, with a strain referring to an injury to a muscle or a tendon that is connected to the bones. On the other hand, a sprain is an injury to the muscle that connects two bones together.

To know how to recover from muscle strain, it’s important to know what causes it and the different levels of injury.

Causes of Muscle Strain

Taken from its name, you already have an idea of what causes muscle strain. Strains are often caused by an improper body mechanic that stresses or tears a muscle. If a movement is just done once, the strain can just be a mild one depending on the weight of the item.

Naturally, a heavier item lifted improperly will result in more injury. This type of strain is commonly known as an acute strain.

There is also what you call a chronic muscle strain. These kinds of strains are a result of repetitive improper movements. This is often experienced by athletes who have continuously used the wrong angle or move without noticing it.

For example, an athlete has become so used to a wrong angle in swinging a bat or a racket. Since they often practice or play a sport, the muscles that are affected by this movement can result in chronic muscle strain.

There are some muscles that are more susceptible to strains because of their position in the body. Those muscles are found in the legs, ankles, hands, and elbows.

Coping with Muscle Strain

Before you even reach a point where your muscles are strained, you have to do prevention exercises. Stretching and strengthening exercises help improve your overall muscular system which minimizes the risk of you having a strain. However, preventive exercises are not useful when you already have a strain.

Depending on the level of injury, you might just need bed rest or you have to go through some sort of therapy. Let’s say you just have an acute muscle strain. The first thing that you have to do even when you are going to get medical help, is to put some ice on the injured area.

It’s better to use an ice pack so that you can place it right over the injured part. Let the ice pack stay there for 15-20 minutes even when help has arrived. Do this every three hours or when there is another swelling.

Because an acute muscle strain doesn’t happen regularly, this is easily treated at home. Rest is the second thing you should do and you have to avoid the activity that caused this strain.

If you have a chronic muscle strain, then it should be treated medically. A doctor or a therapist is required so that you can fully heal from your injury. Treating this at home will only lessen the pain temporarily but the injury will persist. Make sure that you contact a doctor to check on your chronic muscle strain.