What is muscle tear?
You might have heard it being referred to as muscle strains. These terms are often used interchangeably as they are of a similar nature. However, tears, and strains have minor differences that set them apart. Muscle tears are caused by the tearing of muscle fibres, which connect muscles to bones, leading to a limitation of mobility and pain.
In this article, we are going to dive into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for muscle tears.
What are the different types of muscle tears?
Muscle tears may also be referred to as strains, which are caused by the overstretching or tearing of a tendon, which are the fibres that connect the muscles to the bones. This condition can occur from a single incident or from repetitive movements over the long term.
Grade 1 Mild Tears:
This is the mildest form of muscle tear, involving minimal tearing of muscle fibres. It often results from overstretching or minor trauma and may cause mild pain and discomfort. They typically heal relatively quickly with rest and conservative treatment.
Grade 2 Moderate Tears:
Grade 2 tears involve a more significant tear of muscle fibres, causing moderate pain, swelling, and impaired muscle function. These may take several weeks to heal and often require more comprehensive treatment, including physical therapy.
Grade 3 Severe Tears:
Grade 3 tears are the most severe, often involving a complete or near-complete tear of the muscle. These injuries result in severe pain, significant swelling, and a marked loss of muscle function. They may require surgical intervention and have a more extended recovery period.
What are the common causes of muscle tears?
Pushing your muscles beyond their limits, especially during physical activities like weightlifting, sports, or intense workouts, can lead to muscle tears. This often happens when you lift weights that are too heavy or engage in high-intensity activities without proper conditioning.
Muscle tears are not just caused by physically demanding activities and sports, but can also be caused by the use of incorrect form when performing tasks such as lifting a heavy object such as a basket of laundry. Using improper techniques can place excessive stress on certain muscles, leading to strains or tears. Therefore, proper coaching and use of techniques are crucial to preventing injuries.
Lack of Warm Up
Jumping right into a sporting activity can make your muscles more susceptible to tears. Without a proper warm-up, your muscles are essentially caught off guard when subjected to sudden, strenuous activity. Incorporating a few minutes of warm up into your exercise or sports routine, allows your muscles to gradually prepare for the demands ahead, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing overall performance.
What are the signs and symptoms of muscle tears?
The signs and symptoms of muscle tears, also known as muscle strains, can vary in severity. However they most often include the following:
- Pain when engaging in sporting activities
- Decrease in flexibility in affected area
It's important to note that the severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the degree of the muscle tear. Mild strains may only result in minor discomfort and swelling, while severe tears can cause significant pain and swelling.
When should you seek immediate medical attention?
While muscle tears (muscle strains) are commonly treated through the use of rest and rehabilitation, some symptoms indicate the need of immediate medical attention which may include:
- Inability to bear weight
- Intense pain even with the use of Over The Counter (OTC) medication
- Your symptoms worsens over time
- You have experienced a similar injury
- Loss of sensation in the affected area
If you experience any of the signs listed above, we strongly recommend seeking immediate medical intervention to assess the severity of your injury and receive a suited treatment plan.