Muscle strains can happen to all – regardless of level of exercise expertise! Strains occur when our muscles are overstretched or torn and can result from fatigue, overuse, lack of warm-up or improper exercise form.
Severity and Grades
Grade 1 – Considered the least severe and characterized by minimal pull or strain to the muscle.
Grade 1 strains are accompanied by little to no pain. Individual may experience loss of range of motion, but general strength should remain.
Grade 2 – Considered moderate in severity. Individual will notice a considerable amount of swelling and pain associated with the strain. Characterized by decreases in range of motion and strength in strained area.
Grade 3 – Considered most severe. Individual could experience complete loss of muscle function until the tore fibers are completely healed.
RICE: Treating less severe muscular strains
The RICE method can be used to expedite the healing process of strains.
Rest: Let the muscle rest to prevent further damage.
Ice: Ice the affected area intermittently to reduce swelling.
Compression: Compressing the affected area can also cut down on swelling, and further expedite healing.
Elevation: Elevate the affected area to let fluid drain and further reduce swelling.
*Please consult with a physician on specific instructions for caring for severe strains.*
Recovery and Reintroduction
Listen to your body! Stretching the strained area can promote range of motion improvements (remember, the stretch should not cause pain!) and purposeful strength training can target the specific muscle group to hopefully prevent further injury.
Remember to be patient. Resuming exercise at a too strenuous a level can inhibit the healing process and increase your chances of injury in the future.
Our highly qualified and educated personal training staff can help navigate suspected muscle strains and post-injury care. Contact us at 828-266-1060 for questions!
By Dustin Oliver
Wheeler, Tyler. “Muscle Strain”. WebMD. 16th May, 2018. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/muscle-strain#2
“Muscle Strain”. Harvard.edu. Harvard Health Publishing. December, 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/muscle-strain-a-to-z