Soft tissue injuries are injuries related to the soft tissues of the body (muscle, tendon, ligament and nerve). A muscle tear, strain or pull refers to damage to a muscle or its attaching tendons. This can be caused by sudden pressure or tension being put on a muscle group causing it to overstretch or tear.
Symptoms Of Muscle Tears/Strains/Pulls
Muscle strains are graded depending on their severity:
Grade 1 strain - the signs may not be present until after the activity is over. There may be a sensation of muscle cramp/tightness and a slight feeling of pain when the muscles are stretched or contracted.
Grade 2 strain - immediate pain which is more severe than that of grade 1. It is confirmed by pain on stretch and contraction of the muscle and is usually sore to touch.
Grade 3 strain - a very serious injury. There is an immediate burning/ stabbing pain and the athlete is unable to walk without pain. The muscle is completely torn and there may be a large lump of muscle tissue above a depression where the tear is. Bruising will appear below the injury site.
Treatment of Muscle Tears/Strains/Pulls
The immediate treatment of a muscle injury consists of the POLICE protocol – protect, optimal loading, ice, compression and elevation. It is important that this is done correctly and your Physiotherapist can advise you on this. This is aimed at reducing the bleeding and damage within the muscle tissue.
After the early stages have been spent resting, more active rehabilitation can be started. Realistically, for best results this should be started as early as 48 hrs post injury.
Gentle resistance exercises and stretching are important as they help to align the scar tis-sue that forms during healing. Our skilled Physiotherapists will devise a sports specific rehabili-tation programme tailored to your needs. We can guide you through the process of returning to play successfully and reduce the risk of occurrence.
A specific diagnosis can be made by our Physiotherapists to determine what structure is involved and how advanced or severe the strain, pull or tear is. This is an area of expertise for physiotherapists and encompasses the whole body.
Once a diagnosis is made, specific treatment advice can be given. When it comes to treating muscle strains, pulls and tears, our team of Physiotherapists are highly experienced, so you can be assured you are receiving a first class service.