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Muscle tears: treatment and prevention

A muscle tear may be benign in the case of a pulled muscle, but can be more serious if the muscle is partially or totally torn. How can muscle tears be prevented and treated? We tell you more in this article.

Article summary

Muscle tears: treatment and prevention

A muscle tear, or muscle strain, is an injury to the muscle fiber or the musculotendinous junction (the interface between muscle and tendon).

This injury is common in sport, particularly athletics, running, cross-fit, soccer, boxing, rugby, badminton and tennis.

A muscle tear may be benign in the case of a pulled muscle, but can be more serious if the muscle is partially or totally torn. How can muscle tears be prevented and treated? We tell you more in this article.

What is a muscle tear?

Also known as "muscle strain", muscle tears most often affect calf, thigh, back, shoulder, buttocks hamstrings and intercostal muscles.

The injury may occur suddenly in the event of a strong contraction with a sudden stretching of the musclebut also progressively, when the muscle is subjected to repetitive and excessive contractions.

Muscular tears are not to be confused with aches and pains (muscular micro-lesions resulting from physical effort), and the muscle contusion (direct impact on the muscle, resulting in muscle pain and haematoma).

If you have difficulty moving the affected limb, or if you experience severe swelling, intense pain or bleeding, it's best to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

How do you recognize a muscle tear?

Visit symptoms of muscle tear vary according to the severity of the injury, and may include :

  • Muscle pain on palpation;
  • Pain accentuated by stretching and contracting the muscle;
  • Redness or hematoma ;
  • Limited movement with muscle stiffness;
  • Swelling with edema;
  • Muscle weakness ;
  • An audible "popping" sensation.

To diagnose a muscle tear, your doctor will take note of your symptoms and carry out a clinical examination, during which he or she will identify the muscle. severity of injury and the appropriate measures to take. The more your muscle is torn, the longer it will take to heal.

If there is no improvement after 10 days, gentle physiotherapy sessions are highly recommended.

What are the risk factors?

A poor diet, lack of sleep and recovery can increase the risk of muscle tears. Staying hydrated, adopting a healthy, balanced diet and practicing muscle-strengthening exercises can help prevent muscle weakness.

Risk factors for muscle tears include :

  • Advanced age;
  • Tear history;
  • Intense exercise coupled with a lack of warm-up;
  • Muscle weakness, stiffness and fatigue;
  • Lack of flexibility;

Clinical examination can be used to classify muscle tear lesions into 3 different categories of severity:

  • Light" or simple muscle tears elongation involves only a small part of the muscle fibers. In this case, muscle pain appears the day after the activity. It takes between 5 and 7 days to heal before resuming sport.
  • Moderate" muscle tear or muscle strain: Half the muscle fibers are torn, and pain is immediate, accompanied by swelling and loss of strength. It takes between 2 and 5 weeks to heal before resuming sporting activity.
  • Severe" muscle tear: Here, the entire muscle fiber is torn. Intense pain, significant swelling and almost total loss of strength are observed. A minimum of 2 months' recovery is required before returning to sport.

Returning to sport is often too early. According to one study, 12% of people who have undergone a hamstring strain, experience a recurrence within the first week.

To remedy relapses and limit chronicity, sports can only be resumed once the injury has completely healed!

Relieve muscle, ligament and joint disorders with STIMCARE

Simply apply the patch by following our tutorial videos, available in French only. here to guide you every step of the way.

If you have any questions about how to apply the patch, send your request to sante@stimcareonline.com. A therapist trained and certified to apply STIMCARE patches will take the time to answer your questions.

Natural relief for muscle tears

Anti-inflammatories are not recommended (wait at least 48 hours after injury), as they can interfere with the healing process. muscle healing.

So, among the solutions that can be recommended to relieve a muscle tear, we have :

  • The PRICE protocol (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) Protect the wound with padding and rest during the inflammatory phase to speed up muscle healing. Next, apply ice for up to 20 minutes to reduce pain and swelling (repeat 3-4 times a day). Then, elevate the injured area to limit swelling and promote venous return. Finally, compress the wound with a compression garment.

This protocol is not always respected by athletes. 40 % of them do not apply ice, and in 80 % of cases, there is no compression.

  • Gentle physical therapy during the healing phase The healthcare professional will work on the muscle in isolation to re-educate it. This may involve muscle strengthening (with static, concentric and eccentric exercises), passive stretching (to improve muscle fiber orientation), electrostimulation and light massage.
  • STIMCARE patches: Powered by eNOsyntex technology, these patches made from natural mineral oxides reflect the infrared rays emitted by the human body like a mirror (they glow in the invisible like a 100-watt light bulb). This endogenous infrared return action eliminates toxins on the one hand, and provides nutrients and oxygen on the other, promoting cell regeneration and tissue healing. This soothes muscular, ligament and joint tension.

You can find all our tutorials designed to apply patches to the affected area for effective relief.

For personalized advice from a therapist and to perfect the application of STIMCARE patches, please write to sante@stimcareonline.com.

In short, the first thing to do is to take it easy. If the pain of your muscle tear persists and "home remedies" bring no relief within 1 or 2 days, consult your doctor.

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