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Posts Tagged ‘muscle strain’

It has happened to all of us at one time or another. You get too ambitious with your workout or you lift something the wrong way. The burst of pain instantly tells you that you have strained a muscle. While most people rely on time and rest to heal their muscle strains, strains do not always heal smoothly on their own. To get back on your feet and prevent re-injuries, use these tips from our providers at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™.

muscle strain, pulled muscle, sports injuries, athletic injuries, strained muscleGet a Professional Assessment

Muscle strains are common injuries, and doctors primarily instruct patients to simply rest and use home pain relief measures to let the strain heal. Unfortunately, people often assume this means that they do not need to see a doctor for a strained muscle.

The fact is that some muscle strains are severe enough to need treatment. Muscle strains can also feel similar to other injuries that require treatment. The only way to know for sure if you have a muscle strain or something else is to see a medical professional like one of our providers at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™.

In addition, a medical professional can give you more detailed instructions about how long to rest the muscle, how to best ease the pain, and other insights. If you handle the healing period incorrectly, you could re-injure the muscle or do further damage. We will be able to keep an eye on your healing and offer therapies like our Synergy Release Technique or a combination of several other non-invasive treatments like the hyperbaric chamber and frequency-specific microcurrent therapy to help you get back to your active self.

Avoid Heat in the Early Stages

If you ask several random people whether to use ice or heat for a muscle strain, half will likely say one and half will say the other. The truth is that both of these can be helpful, but at different points in the process.

When you first strain your muscle, start with ice. This will reduce the swelling in the muscle and any bleeding from torn blood vessels. After the swelling has gone down, you can apply heat to lower the remaining pain. If you apply heat too soon in the healing process, it could make the pain and swelling worse.

As you do this, remember to never apply ice or heat directly to your skin. Wrap the ice or the heat source in a towel to protect your skin from the extreme temperatures.

Take It Slow

When your strained muscle finally starts to feel better, you may be tempted to jump back into your workout routine to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, this is when many severe re-injuries occur.

No matter how impatient you may be, take it slow when you are ready to get back to the gym. Use lighter weights on the muscle than you did before the injury and slowly work your way up. If you ever feel strain-like pain in that muscle, ease off and scale back your workout. One good practice to take after a severe strain is to perform body weight exercises in a controlled range of motion. Do not push yourself past the point of tightness or pain.

In the best scenarios, a strained muscle is an annoyance that makes life more challenging and painful for a few days. In the worst scenarios, it can be a serious impairment to your career or your daily routine. No matter what your situation is, your health is not worth the gamble. If you strain a muscle, call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ to schedule an appointment. For additional tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Whether you’re a dedicated professional athlete or just work out whenever you can to keep yourself healthy, you have probably experienced a moment when you realized you had pushed your body too far.  Typically, this can manifest as a pulled muscle or a pinched nerve, two of the most common injuries that we treat here at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™.  Although these two problems may seem similar, and are easily confused, they actually require very different approaches to treatment.  Understanding how these two common injuries differ from one another is the first step to effectively relieving your discomfort and getting you back on your feet.

What’s the Difference between a Pulled Muscle and a Pinched Nerve

Pain and Swelling: Pulled Muscles

A pulled or strained muscle occurs when the fibers that make up the muscle have been overstretched or torn, often as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use.  Although strains can happen in any muscle, they are most common in the lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring (the muscle behind your thigh).  A pulled muscle will usually start to swell immediately, and will be very tender to the touch.  Patients may also experience bruising or redness at the site of the injury or, when the strain is severe, an inability to use the affected muscle at all.  Most muscle strains are the result of either poor flexibility or a failure to warm up properly before performing strenuous physical activity.  However, chronic muscle strains can also be caused by smaller repetitive movements, like those performed during rowing, tennis, or golf.  They can even result from merely holding the back or neck in an awkward position for long periods of time, which might occur when you work at a desk.  Relatively mild and moderate strains can be successfully treated at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), but severe strains or tears may require a full diagnostic exam in order to determine the correct course of action.  If your pain does not subside after a week, or if the injured area becomes numb, seek medical attention right away.

Pins and Needles: Pinched Nerves

Nerves run throughout the body carrying electrical impulses between the brain and every muscle and organ, but when a nerve is subjected to unusual pressure for a prolonged period of time, those impulses can become partially obstructed, causing a loss of feeling in the affected area.  Nerve compression, commonly known as a pinched nerve, usually occurs in nerves that pass through narrow points in the body between ligaments, tendons, and bones.  Repetitive motion, or even simply holding the body in one position for a long period of time, can cause inflammation in the surrounding tissues, and when those tissues are swollen, they apply pressure on the nerves.  Initially, compression on the nerve causes a characteristic pins-and-needles sensation.  However, if the compression continues, numbness and severe pain can result.  Some of the more common sources of pain and discomfort that we treat at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, like carpal tunnel syndrome and herniated disks, occur as the result of compressed nerves in the arm or spine, respectively.  The specific treatment for a pinched nerve can vary considerably, depending on the area affected and the underlying cause.  It may require only a splint or brace to immobilize the area, or you may need therapy exercises that will strengthen and stretch the muscles in the affected area to relieve pressure on the nerve.  In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the constriction and give the patient relief, but one of our goals at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ is to provide patients with alternative treatment options that will help them to avoid surgery whenever possible.  Several patients have come to Synergy when surgery was suggested and, after being treated, were able to opt out of the procedure.

No matter what your age or activity level might be, everybody has to deal with injuries sooner or later, and the expert chiropractors and massage therapists at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute are here to help.  If you would like to learn more about the many different services we offer, please give us a call to schedule a chiropractic or rehabilitation appointment, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.