A muscle strain can also be referred to as a pulled muscle and it occurs when a muscle has been stretched too far.
A pulled muscle actually consists of small tears within the muscle and it happens more commonly as people age.
In most cases, people pull a muscle from overexertion, or from not warming up before exercising.
How Can You Tell if a Muscle is Pulled?
If you have pulled a muscle it is usually evident within 24-48 hours of the injury taking place. A pulled muscle is usually accompanied by:
- Acute, jabbing pain
- Limited movement
- Sudden pain felt in the affected area
How are Muscle Strains Medically Graded?
Muscle strains and injury are graded according to different parameters which include the following:
- Grade I: mild pain, often no disability. Usually does not result in limited mobility.
- Grade II: moderate discomfort, can limit someone’s ability to perform high level activities.
- Grade III: severe injury, extreme pain. Often people will have swelling, bruising and muscle spasms.
What are The Best Ways to Heal a Pulled Muscle?
Ice: Applying ice will help reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. Ice application should start as soon as possible after injuring the muscle. A person should apply ice frequently, but not for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Massaging: Massaging a pulled muscle will help improve healing time and stimulates blood flow to the damaged area. When a pulled muscle is massaged, it provides tension relief, heat and helps to reduce the swelling. It is important to do gentle massaging and not to become aggressive, because it could further injure the inflamed muscle even worse.