Back or neck strain occurs when the muscles that support your spine attain minor tears from twisting and pulling forces. Strains can be very painful and debilitating. Another muscle group prone to this kind of injury is the hamstring muscle — the mass of muscle at the back of your thighs. Although there is common ground between different approaches to muscle strain treatments, the most effective interventions are based on accurate diagnosis of the problem, according to the experts from Musclepeople.co.nz.
How do muscle fibres become damaged?
Muscles contract in order to move the different joints of the body through the available range. If it contracts too forcefully, the fibres might incur injury. This manifests as strain, and presents with pain and swelling. The fibres may also be injured when stretched beyond the usual range. Forceful stretching can rend the fibres microscopically and result in poor performance of movement.
Different grades of muscle strain
There are three grades of muscle strain. This classification is based on the degree of damage to the fibres. Grades I, II, and III share common symptoms of pain and swelling, although the severity varies. Grade I is mild strain involving injury to a few fibres, which does not affect the strength of the muscle. A physiotherapist evaluating for muscle strength will still grade the muscle as “normal,” although he or she will note the presence of pain and tenderness during movement.
Meanwhile, in Grade II or moderate strain, there is reduction of strength since more fibres have been damaged. Grade III strain is the most severe, and results in loss of function, as well as significant swelling and pain. Essentially, in a severe strain the muscle may be torn in two.
The specific treatment approach for muscle strain is based on examination results. The doctor will conduct an interview and a physical examination to determine the grade of the strain. It is wise to seek immediate medical aide if you strain a muscle after direct physical trauma. If the pain you feel on a particular muscle persists for days, then you should see a doctor as well.