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Muscle Strains Physiotherapy: Symptoms & Treatment

Muscle strains are a common injury in both amateur and professional athletes, often caused by sudden movements or overuse of muscles beyond their capacity. Physiotherapy interventions such as manual therapy, stretching and exercise prescription can effectively manage muscle strains, reduce pain and improve functional outcomes.

As with all injuries, this information is simply a guide, and it is always best to check in with a Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist to have a personalized assessment and hear recommendations for what you and your body may specifically need.

Muscle strains are common injuries that occur in athletes or individuals engaging in physical activity. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for muscle strains and can reduce pain, restore range of motion, reduce inflammation, and improve strength. 

Physiotherapy has a range of positive effects for people suffering from muscle strains. One primary benefit is pain relief, which can assist in the healing process, enabling the individual to return to activity and daily life with greater ease. Physiotherapists utilize techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint mobilizations, therapeutic modalities, and exercise prescription to help reduce pain and improve mobility. Additionally, strengthening exercises are used to increase the strength and flexibility of the affected muscles. This can lead to improved function and reduced risk of future injury or re-injury.

Furthermore, physiotherapy can also enhance athletic performance through comprehensive evaluations that identify any underlying impairments or biomechanical deficiencies that may be contributing to decreased performance. Through skilled assessments and evidence-based interventions tailored specifically for the athlete's needs, physiotherapists can address any underlying issues preventing optimal performance. Ultimately this will allow athletes to achieve their maximum potential in their chosen sport or activity while also reducing their risk of injury.

What are Muscle Strains?

Muscle strain is a common musculoskeletal condition that is characterized by damage to the skeletal muscle fibers. The meaning of this term refers to an injury sustained from excessive loading and overstretching of the muscles due to physical activity, resulting in an acute tear or rupture of the tissue fibers.

The specifics of a muscle strain typically involve a sudden onset of pain in the affected area, followed by swelling, bruising and tenderness. Diagnosis usually requires physical examination to determine the degree of severity, with imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI used for further evaluation if necessary. It is important to note that muscle strains can range from mild to severe and can cause disruption of normal muscle function if left untreated.

Physiotherapy is recommended as part of treatment for muscle strains to improve recovery outcomes. The physiotherapist will assess the patient's needs and create an individualized rehabilitation program that includes stretching, strengthening exercises and other forms of therapy to help manage symptoms, expedite healing and reduce the risk of re-injury.

Causes Of Muscle Strains

Muscle strain, also known as a pulled muscle, is commonly caused by sudden or forceful movements that can stretch the muscle beyond its capacity. Lifting injuries are one of the most common causes of muscle strains. These are typically due to lifting an object that is too heavy for the individual or lifting with incorrect technique. Overuse injuries can also result in muscle strains from repeated and extended periods of movement. For example, running long distances can cause a person's muscles to become fatigued, leading to a muscle strain. Improper stretching techniques before physical activity may also lead to a muscle strain. Poor posture can also cause muscles to become strained from being held in awkward or unnatural positions for long periods of time.

The best way to prevent muscle strains is by following proper body mechanics when lifting objects, warming up and stretching prior to physical activity, and maintaining good posture while sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time. It is important to be aware of these factors that increase the risk of developing a muscle strain in order to take preventive measures and reduce the chance of injury.

Your Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist will fully assess you to determine the cause of the problem. It is imperative that this cause be found and treated. In order to address the cause, the therapist will provide customized exercises that will help correct any weaknesses or muscle imbalances as well as any tension and mobility issues. They will also provide hands-on therapy to release the tight muscles and mobilize stiff joints. They will address the scar tissue, by breaking it up with hands-on techniques and then using exercise to realign it along the lines of stress of the muscles. Acupuncture may be used to reduce pain and promote healing of the muscle. Dry needling is another option that may be used to release trigger points in the muscle. As with any repetitive strain injury, finding the problem and correcting it is integral to healing. The earlier an injury is treated, the faster it will heal.  A typical healing time frame of 6-8 weeks can be expected, depending on the severity of the damage and how long it has been occurring. 

As with all injuries, this information is simply a guide, and it is always best to check in with a Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist to have a personalized assessment and hear recommendations for what you and your body may specifically need.

Contact Us For Help

Inertia Physio+ offers Kanata and Stittsville exceptional Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy and Registered Massage Therapy with private treatment rooms, one on one care, a maximum of two patients per hour and treatment focused on the evidence-based practices of manual and exercise therapy. Don’t suffer any longer.  If you have pain or injury, our Kanata and Stittsville Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy, and Registered Massage Therapy team is here to help you get back to living pain-free life and activities.  Please reach out to us at (613) 672-2200 or for an appointment today! You are also welcome to book online. We also offer direct billing on Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy services whenever your plan allows.


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