What causes a muscle strain?
A muscle strain, or a muscle pull occurs when a muscle in your lower limb is overstretched or overworked. Even if the injury from overstretching or overworking occurs more to the attaching tendon it can also be classified under the term muscle strain.
How are muscle strains classified?
There are 3 grades. All muscle strains include tearing of some muscle fibres:
Grade I: mild, suggesting pain may not be felt until the following day after the instigating activity. No swelling or bruising is noted.
Grade II: moderate, suggesting many muscle fibres are torn which results in a decrease in strength and often reduced movement. Pain is present both when stretching the muscle by activities and swelling and bruising can occur.
Grade III: severe, suggesting all fibres of the muscle are completely torn. Severe swelling, pain, and bruising accompany a grade III strain.
How are muscle strains treated?
The initial approach to Podiatry of your muscle strain will depend on how long after your injury that you seek treatment. The immediate line of defence straight after a muscle strain should be R.I.C.E
Once the initial pain and inflammation has calmed down, your Podiatrist will focus on improving the flexibility and strength of the involved muscle by various ways including exercises to increase strength and flexibility and importantly, encourage the healing tissues to withstand stretch and the Podiatrist will also ensure you do not lose any normal movements, and to get your strained muscle back in top shape.
In addition to this, your Podiatrist may also use some of the following approaches to aid in the recovery of your strained muscle:
- dry needling,
- joint mobilisation,
- heat (later)
- custom orthotics in your shoes to aid with correct lower limb alignment which may further aid in preventing re-injury.
If you or someone you know have experienced a muscle strain then we would love to help. You can book online or call our help team on (03) 9711 7562 to make an appointment. Here at The Footcare Clinic, with careful treatment of the problem and smart adjustments to your activity, our Podiatrists will help you back to moving well again in no time!