Muscle strains are some of the most common sporting injuries, making up 10-55% of all sporting injuries. A muscle strain occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn and this is a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of the muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh.
Muscles are most prone to strain when they are used to rapidly accelerate or decelerate and are most common in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius.
However, Physiotherapists are the best professionals to assist you with a muscle strain, they will treat the symptoms and provide education on the extent of the injury, look at possible causes, and ways to prevent a recurrence.
Below are effective physical therapy tips to treat muscle strain
1- Electrotherapeutic modalities:
Electrotherapeutic modalities such as an ultrasound or TENS device may be used. An ultrasound is an apparatus that uses sound waves to heat up deeper tissues and aid in healing. TENS, which is the acronym for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, is a small device that produces low currents, which are transmitted to your skin via electrodes. TENS can help decrease your pain for a short time.
2- Heat & Ice:
By heating up the tissue, blood flow is increased in the area allowing for quicker recovery. Ice is known to be successful for pain control. If you have pain and swelling, your physiotherapist will apply an ice pack for 20 minutes to help reduce your swelling and pain. Heat such as a hot moist pack will be used only when your swelling and pain have already subsided. Heat application helps soften muscles and increase blood flow to your injured muscle.
Sometimes we need a little help from therapeutic tape to help the patient get back to full speed. Physiotherapists have a variety of tape products in their toolkits to apply proven taping techniques from the acute stage through a return to activity. The tape can provide compression and support and can also be used to relax or facilitate the injured muscle.
4: Manual or Self-Stretching:
The main focus after muscle strain is to help the patient heal with mobility. Muscle tightness can likely occur after an injury which will affect your ability to move the joint/muscle as you had previously and can contribute to re-injury. By assisting you in stretches proven to be beneficial for your specific injury, the stretches will help lengthen and loosen the muscles, ultimately increasing your flexibility and range of motion. Home exercises and self-stretching are an important part of the treatment program.
5- Strengthening Exercises:
Perhaps one of the most important and beneficial parts of Physiotherapy, injury-related strengthening exercises ensures that you maintain strength in areas surrounding the injury and regain the strength in the involved muscle safely. Strength exercises are carefully progressed as the injured muscle heals and are given according to your level of fitness and specific muscles affected.
Combining exercises to restore mobility and regain strength and function will get back to your previous activities and work sooner, as well as help to prevent any future injuries.
6- Patient education:
The Physical Therapist will talk to you about your particular problem, what precautions to observe, and provide you with injury prevention tips. He or she may also talk to you about the possible modification of your home or workplace activities.
They may also provide you with other treatments that are appropriate for your particular problem which may include:
- Recommending a walking device, such as a walker or crutches
- Gait (walking) training, Recommending the use of a brace,
- Postural training
- Activity modification
Immediately after an injury, it is important that you follow RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) protocol for the affected muscle/joint. This will act as the most effective treatment plan for the time being.
If the pain does not subside after two or three days, it may be time to visit a physiotherapist.
With years of experience in treating aches and pains, our physiotherapists are equipped to assess injuries and develop a treatment plan that suits the lifestyle of every patient.
Kindly visit our website www.bluetreeclinics.com to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists today!
Call us now on +971 4 348 8262