Muscle Strains

A Muscle strain is an injury that often occurs in sports or in certain demanding daily activities. It is usually the result of a rapid, forceful movement while the muscle is elongated. In the case of strains, the muscle fibers are stretched beyond their capacity. The muscles most commonly affected are the hamstrings, quadriceps and gastrocnemius (calf).

The severity of the strain can be described on a scale of three grades, the first being the least severe.

Grade 1 is described as stretching muscle fibers without causing tears. Slight swelling at the site of the strain and pain in stretching and contraction of the muscle may be observed.

Grade 2 is described as stretching with a partial tearing of the muscle fibers. This will result in increased swelling and bruising within 2 to 3 days of injury. The pain is more intense and walking is a little more limited than grade 1.

Grade 3 is described as a stretch that results in a complete tearing of the muscle fibers. The symptoms are then much more intense and limiting. The pain can be strong even at rest and a limp when walking is very apparent.

If you believe that you have a muscle strain, no matter how serious it might be, the first action to take is to stop the activity you are doing in order to not aggravate your injury. Thereafter, ice is the best way to relieve your pain for the first 3 to 5 days after the incident. Avoid stretching and massaging the pain area of ​​the injured muscle. By quickly consulting your physiotherapist, he/she can then tell you the grade of your injury, in addition to designing an appropriate exercise program to begin with when the inflammatory phase is resolved.