During a workout, it’s not uncommon to feel muscle strain. It’s pretty common. However, not all muscle strains are created equal. There are different levels of severity, and you should treat each one differently. In this blog post, we will discuss the different signs of muscle strain so that you can determine how severe it is and what to do about it! That way, you’ll know what to do if it happens to you.
- 1 What Happens When A Muscle Strains?
- 2 Muscle Strain Vs. Pinched Nerve
- 3 The Most Commonly Strained Muscles
- 4 Signs Of A Muscle Strain
- 5 Difficulty Moving A Muscle
- 6 Swelling And Tenderness
- 7 Bruising And Discoloration
- 8 Muscle Spasms
- 9 How To Treat A Muscle Strain
- 10 Tips For Preventing A Muscle Strain During A Workout
- 11 Be Aware Of The Signs Of A Muscle Strain!
What Happens When A Muscle Strains?
Muscles are essential for helping you move your body. Every time you pick up a book, take a step or type on a keyboard, you’re using muscles. They’re strong and flexible, but they can also be easily injured. A muscle strain happens when the muscle is stretched beyond its normal limit, which can happen suddenly, such as when you fall or trip, or it can happen gradually over time through overuse.
There are three grades of muscle strains: Grade 1, which is a mild overstretching of the muscle fibers with some discomfort; Grade 2, which is a partial tear of the muscle fibers with moderate discomfort; and Grade 3, which is a complete tear of the muscle fibers with severe discomfort.
Muscle Strain Vs. Pinched Nerve
When you hurt your arm or leg, it’s often hard to tell whether the pain is due to a muscle strain or a pinched nerve. Both injuries can cause similar symptoms, including muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling. However, some key differences can help you determine which injury you’re dealing with.
Muscle strains are usually from overuse or sudden trauma, such as lifting a heavy object or falling. The pain is typically localized to the injury site, and you may experience swelling and bruising. Pinched nerves, on the other hand, are typically caused by nerve compression from surrounding tissues, which can happen due to an injury, but it can also result from repetitive motions (such as typing) or prolonged pressure on the nerve (such as sleeping on your arm). The pain from a pinched nerve is often felt along the length of the nerve pathway, and you may also experience numbness or tingling.
If you’re unsure whether you have a muscle strain or a pinched nerve, it’s best to see a doctor for an evaluation. Once the underlying cause of your pain is diagnosed correctly, you can begin treatment and start on the road to recovery.
The Most Commonly Strained Muscles
Strained muscles are a common injury, especially among those who work out. The most commonly strained muscle is the hamstring, located at the back of the thigh. Typically, hamstring strains happen during activities requiring quick movements or direction changes, such as running, jumping, and playing sports.
Other commonly strained muscles include:
- The calf muscles (found at the back of the lower leg).
- The quadriceps (front of the thigh).
- The shoulders.
Like with hamstring strains, these injuries often occur during quick movements or overuse. However, it is essential to remember that you can strain any muscle in your body, so practicing proper form and listening to your body during any activity is important.
Signs Of A Muscle Strain
When you’re working out, a few common signs may indicate you’ve strained a muscle. Keep an eye out for these red flags and listen to your body:
Difficulty Moving A Muscle
One of the most noticeable symptoms of muscle strain is difficulty using the injured muscle. You may not be able to lift as much weight, or you may have trouble fully extending or flexing the muscle. Depending on the severity of the strain, you may not be able to use the muscle at all. If the strain is minor, you may still be able to move the muscle, but it will likely be painful.
Swelling And Tenderness
In addition to difficulty moving the muscle, you may feel swelling and tenderness in the injured area. The area may be sensitive to touch or pressure and appear swollen or inflamed. If you notice swelling and tenderness during or after your workout, taking some time off from intense physical activity is an excellent idea to let the muscle heal.
Bruising And Discoloration
If the strain is severe enough, you may also notice bruising or discoloration in the injured area, which can happen if there are tears in the muscle fibers, causing bleeding underneath the skin. Bruising and discoloration usually appear within a few days of injuring the muscle, but it may take longer for more severe strains.
Another symptom of muscle strain is involuntary muscle spasms or cramping, which can happen immediately after the injury or even during the healing process as the muscle tries to repair itself. The spasms may feel like sudden, sharp pains in the affected muscle. They may also present themselves as twitches or contractions in the muscle.
How To Treat A Muscle Strain
Treatment for a muscle strain depends on the grade of injury. For a grade 1 strain, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are usually enough to relieve pain and allow the injury to heal. For a grade 2 or 3 strain, you may need physical therapy to help you recover. Surgery is very rare. Most people who experience a muscle strain will recover within four to eight weeks.
If you suspect you’ve strained a muscle, you must stop your physical activity and seek medical attention. A doctor can properly diagnose the injury and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Tips For Preventing A Muscle Strain During A Workout
No one likes to get sidelined by a muscle strain, especially when you’re in the middle of a great workout. But unfortunately, it’s a common injury that can happen to anyone, even if you’re careful. So what can you do to prevent muscle strain? First, make sure you warm up properly before exercise. A good warm-up will increase your heart rate and raise your body temperature, making your muscles more pliable and less likely to be injured.
Second, pay attention to your form. If you’re lifting weights, for example, be sure to use the proper technique. Using good form helps you get the most out of your workout and reduces your risk of injury. Finally, listen to your body. If you start to feel pain during a workout, stop and rest. Pushing through the pain is likely to make your injury worse. Following these simple tips can help prevent muscle strain and stay healthy and active all year round.
Be Aware Of The Signs Of A Muscle Strain!
Remember, muscle strain is not something to be taken lightly. It’s essential to listen to your body and seek medical attention if you suspect an injury. By knowing the signs of muscle strain and taking precautions, you can avoid this common workout injury and stay fit and active. And just a reminder, if at any point during a workout you experience sudden, severe pain, stop immediately and seek medical attention. Better safe than sorry!