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      Muscular Strains: Diagnosis and Management

      Muscular Strains: Diagnosis and Management

      A muscle strain, also known as a pulled muscle, happens when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This is frequently caused by muscle exhaustion, overuse, or improper use. Strains can occur in any muscle, although they are most prevalent in the lower back, neck, shoulder, and thigh. These strains can be painful and restrict movement in the affected muscle area. Mild to severe strains can be treated at home successfully using ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Severe strains or tears might require medical attention.

      Symptoms of muscle strains

      • Soreness with a rapid start of discomfort
      • Difficulty moving a muscle like you usually can
      • weakness
      • stiffness
      • bruises
      • redness
      • swelling

      What causes muscle strain?

      Muscular strains occur when the muscular fibers are torn. Muscle strains can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

      • Overuse: when the same motion is repeated repeatedly, whether at work or during an activity such as sports.
      • Exercising without stretching or warming up: Stretching before exercise gradually raises the amount of tension in your muscles.
      • Lack of flexibility: If you’re not extremely flexible, your muscles (and the fibers within them) are tighter, making them more prone to strains.

      First aid for muscle strains

      1. Apply ice immediately to decrease swelling. Wrap the ice in a piece of fabric. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
      2. For the first day, use ice for 10 to 15 minutes every hour and then every 3 to 4 hours.
      3. For the first three days, use ice. If you still have pain after 3 days, either heat or ice may be beneficial.
      4. Rest for at least a day after pulling the muscle. Keep the pulled muscle elevated above your heart if at all possible.
      5. Avoid using a strained muscle while it is still uncomfortable. When the discomfort subsides, gradually increase exercise by gently extending the affected muscle.

      When to see a doctor

      Home therapy is sufficient for mild to moderate strains. If any of these conditions occur, get medical attention:

      • You are unable to walk.
      • The affected area is numb.
      • You are unable to move your arms or legs.
      • Your wound is gushing with blood.
      • The ache does not go away after a week.

      A physical examination as well as imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI scans can assist your doctor in determining the extent of your damage. Anti-inflammatory medicines and pain relievers may be used to treat discomfort and swelling. Physical therapy may also be prescribed by your doctor to help strengthen the muscle and restore movement. In severe cases, surgery to repair the muscle may be required.

      How can I prevent muscle strains?

      Stretching and warming up before exercise is the greatest approach to avoid muscular strains. Increased flexibility will also protect your muscles from potential injury. The more flexibility, the more room your muscle fibers have to stretch before they tear. It’s comparable to how some materials are more pliable than others. Because you’ve stretched out your favorite pair of jeans over the years, they’re quite flexible. However, you may need to wear a brand-new pair a few times before they feel comfortable. The same is true for your muscles. The more you exercise and stretch them, the more flexibility and give they have when you move.

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