Muscle strains range in severity from a mild tear to a more severe injury requiring surgery. The recovery time for muscle tears varies based on the injury. Recovery for torn muscles also varies depending on which muscle is damaged, and the care the tear receives following the injury.
Severity of Tears & Pulls
A torn muscle is a tear in the muscle fibers of the tendons. This injury often damages blood vessels and causes bruising. In bad tears, the bruising is deep and extensive. Severe tears are accompanied by lack of muscle function in the affected area.
Muscle strains are diagnosed based on severity. The greater the number of fibers that are torn, the more severe the diagnosis of the injury. A first degree strain is mild and damages a few muscle fibers. This is the fastest to heal. A second degree strain damages more fibers. A third degree strain is a complete rupture of the muscle and may require surgery.
Types of Tears
Two types of tears exist. Distraction ruptures occur when the demands made of the muscle are too great for its strength and are often the result of a quick movement or change of direction. The second type---compression tears---are the result of direct impact, such as a collision. This force can cause bruising, tearing or severe muscle spasms.
For first and second degree tears and sprains, expect recovery to take from 2 to 6 weeks if the muscle is treated quickly after the injury. Second-degree tears can take longer to heal based on severity.
For more serious third-degree tears of muscles like biceps and hamstrings, complete recovery can take up to 6 months after surgery.
To expedite your recovery, it's essential to stop exercising as soon as the injury occurs. Begin treatment immediately. Trying to power through the pain will only delay the recovery process.
Sports doctors advise completely resting the area. If you've torn a muscle in your lower body and the injury is severe, you'll be advised to use crutches or a splint to protect the area from additional damage. If the tear is bad, physical therapy will be part of the recovery process.
Likelihood of a Muscle Tear
If you've torn a muscle in the past, you're susceptible to relive that painful experience. By doing too much too soon or having poor overall conditioning, you increase your risk for tearing a muscle. Factors that can increase your likelihood of a strain or severe tear include tightness in any of your muscles, imbalance of the muscle, poor muscular conditioning and overall weakness, lack of proper warmup, and muscle fatigue caused by exercise or poor conditioning.
- Photo Credit "My ruptured tendon" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: juhansonin (Juhan Sonin) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
The Symptoms of Torn Muscle Tissue
A muscle may become torn when it is strained or over-exerted, actions that cause the muscle's fibers to pull apart. Although torn...
How Long Does it Take to Heal a Pulled Muscle?
A pulled muscle is technically called a strained muscle and occurs when the fibers of a muscle are torn. Causes of pulled...
How to Treat a Muscle Pull
A muscle pull occurs when a muscle is stretched beyond its capability and some muscle fibers tear. Muscle pulls range from mild...
How to Treat a Pulled Neck Muscle
While a pulled muscle anywhere in the body is frustrating and painful, the neck may be the worst place to suffer an...
How to Heal a Muscle Tear
If after an intense exercise session, you notice a tingling, sore ache in one muscle and a dent that definitely wasn't there...
How to Treat Pulled Rib Muscles
Pulled rib muscles can occur from overextending yourself during a workout, from excessive coughing during an illness or from reasons that you...
How to Heal a Pulled Muscle Faster
A pulled muscle can be very unpleasant. It can cause extreme pain, even when doing the smallest daily tasks. Continue reading to...
How to Speed up Healing of Torn Muscles
A torn muscle is either a complete or partial rupture of the muscle. It is caused by overexertion of the muscle, as...
How to Heal a Torn Bicep Muscle
The biceps is a two-headed muscle that originates on the front and top parts of the scapula, and connects to the radius...
How to Heal a Pulled Trapezius Muscle
The trapezius muscles are on either side of your neck and help support your head. They run down the center of your...
How to Heal a Torn Gluteus Muscle
Your gluteus muscles are in your buttocks, and they are usually injured while running and jumping. Dancers and hurdlers commonly experience torn...
Treatment for a Pulled Groin Muscle
A pulled groin muscle should be treated immediately with ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Discover exercises for treating pulled muscles with help...