Muscles make up over half of the weight of a human body and they are required to make even the smallest of movements such as nodding your head or tapping your toe. If too much stretch is put through one of your muscles, you may end up with a painful muscle strain.
What causes a muscle strain?
A muscle strain, or a muscle pull occurs when a muscle in your body is overstretched or overworked. Even if the injury from overstretching or overworking occurs more to the attaching tendon it can also be classified under the term muscle strain.
How are muscle strains classified?
There are 3 grades. All muscle strains include tearing of some muscle fibres:
Grade I (mild): Very few muscle fibres have been injured. Pain may not be felt until the following day after the instigating activity. No swelling or bruising is noted.
Grade II (moderate): With this category many muscle fibres are torn which results in a decrease in strength and often limited movement. Some muscle fibres remain uninjured and intact. Pain is present both when stretching the muscle and on muscle strength testing. Swelling and bruising may be noted.
Grade III (severe): All fibres of the muscle are completely torn. Severe swelling, pain, and bruising accompany a grade III strain.
How are muscle strains treated?
* Stop & Rest: When you strain or pull a muscle stop your activity and rest your body. This pain isn’t to be confused with muscle soreness but rather a sharper pain that doesn’t belong. Resting for any type of sports injury is recommended.
* I.C.E Method: Ice Compression Elevation. Try this method to help lower inflammation, keep blood flowing and relieve some pain. You can simply use a bag of ice wrapped in a towel and a compression sleeve or wrap around your pulled muscle.
* Don’t Stretch: Despite what you may think, stretching after a muscle strain or pulled muscle is not recommended. The muscle is already “stretched” so stretching, even more, will only increase the healing and recovery time.
* Chiropractic Treatment: A Chiropractor will be able to assess your injury as a whole. Your Chiropractor will use a combination of treatments. Methods including correcting misaligned joints, massage & deeper ‘trigger point’ therapy, dry needling, heat (later) rehab strengthening exercises & even cold laser maybe used among other approaches to improve blood flow, repair the muscle, and re-strengthening your pulled muscle.
Towards Wellness: Exercise is an Effective Stress-Buster.
If exercise were available as a pill, experts say, everyone would be taking it. One reason is that exercise is very good at defusing stress. If you exercise — especially right when the stress response is triggered — you burn off stress hormones just as nature intended, instead of letting them pile up.
What’s more, just about any form of motion on a regular basis helps relieve pent-up tension. Rhythmic, repetitive movements, such as walking, running, swimming, bicycling, and rowing —
and specific types of exercise such as yoga and tai chi — actually elicit the relaxation response, too. Regularly engaging in these kinds of activities can help you ward off everyday stress.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H of the Month: Half-Kneel Hip and Quad Stretch
Kneel on one knee (feel free to put down a towel or mat) with your other foot planted flat on the ground in front of you. Make close to a 90-degree angle with both of your legs. Lean forward toward your front leg, stretching the front of your hip downward. Next, grab the ankle of your leg planted on the ground, and pull it toward your rear for a deep hamstring and hip stretch down the front leg, all the way to your knee. Move in and out of this stretch for 10 to 15 reps or more, depending on your level of tightness.