How to Recognize Muscle Strain Symptoms

Recognize Muscle Strain Symptoms
Recognize Muscle Strain Symptoms

How to Recognize Muscle Strain Symptoms. Muscle strains, which can involve tearing, bruising or otherwise damaging muscle tissue, can be the result of intense athletic activity or even simple everyday movements. By recognizing the symptoms of muscle strain, you can determine whether or not you need medical assistance.

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Recognize Muscle Strain Symptoms

Look for bruises, cuts, redness or swelling in the general location of the injury. A muscle strain can involve the tearing of muscle tissue, blood vessels and tendons, which can cause all of the above symptoms.

See if the pain diminishes when the injured area is completely at rest. Ordinary muscle soreness or fatigue is usually only painful when the muscle is stretched, but the pain of a muscle strain tends to be constant, regardless of whether the injured area is moved or not.

Determine if there is an overall weakness to the injured muscle that prevents movement or use of the injured area, as opposed to the actual joint or bone. This is to recognize the difference between a muscle strain and a sprain.

Find out if there is an inability to use the muscle at all, which may indicate damage or separation in the area where the muscles are attached to the tendons.

Recognize the activity that may have caused the muscle strain. Usually, muscle strains are caused by either strenuous physical activity or a simple, unexpected movement that causes the muscle to move in an abnormal way, resulting in injury. Muscle pain that appears to come out of nowhere may be caused by a potentially more serious medical condition, so check with your doctor immediately.

Check out online resources such as the eMedicineHealth or Web sites for more information about how to recognize muscle strain symptoms and how to seek treatment (see Resources below).

Tips & Warnings

  • Muscle strains can usually be avoided during physical activity by simply performing a series of stretching exercises before you begin. Most fitness experts believe that you should stretch for at least 5 to 10 minutes before starting any fitness regimen.
  • If you do not feel relief from muscle strain discomfort within 24 hours of the injury, or if you hear a popping noise when the injured area is moved, seek medical help immediately.
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