A “pulled muscle” refers to a muscle strain or when more serious a torn muscle. This is a stretching or tearing injury of the muscle fibres and the tendons attached to the muscle. It is a common injury that can happen to any muscle in the body. You can pull a muscle if it is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, or if the muscle is worked too hard or fast, forcing it to contract too strongly.

Almost every sporting activity carries some risk of muscle strain, although this type of injury tends to happen more commonly during fast-paced contact sports with quick starts and sudden changes of direction, such as football, rugby and tennis. However, you can also pull a muscle by lifting a heavy object, performing household activities or even just when walking. So, whilst the risk of pulling a muscle is higher for athletes, people also need to be aware when undertaking certain daily activities that could cause muscle strains.

Symptoms of a pulled muscle include pain, tenderness and muscle weakness in the affected muscle, bruising or discolouration, a more limited range of motion than you might usually experience, swelling, muscle cramps and spasms. In the most severe cases you might also experience a popping sensation in the muscle at the time of injury, this is from the muscle tissue being overstretched and can be extremely painful.

There are 3 grades of muscle strain. Grade 1 is a mild injury with minimal impact on strength, mobility or motion. Grade 2 is more severe than grade 1, you will have lost strength and motion in the affected muscle but it hasn’t completely torn. Grade 3 is the most severe and is when the muscle or tendon has completely torn. You may require surgery for a grade 3 muscle strain.

There are some things that you can do to help prevent muscle strains, such as warming up properly before exercising or playing sports, stretching in the morning and evenings to increase your flexibility, sitting and standing with proper posture, practising good lifting techniques, and maintaining a healthy body weight to avoid placing extra stress on your muscles.

A chiropractor can help diagnose a muscle strain by performing a physical examination to assess your condition. This will include testing your mobility and range of motion in order to work out what extent your muscles have been affected. The chiropractor may recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of the pulled muscle. They may also use manual adjustments and massage therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing. Recovery time depends on the location and severity of your muscle strain. In cases of mild muscle strains, they will often heal quickly, but more severe muscle strains usually require several months of rehabilitation.

If you are suffering from muscle strain and are unsure whether chiropractic care can help you, then call us now on 01702 342329 and one of our chiropractors in Southend-on-Sea would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.