What is a muscle injury?
Acute muscle injuries are graded for their severity on a three part scale from a minor injury with damage only to a few muscle fibres, to a complete rupture of the muscle (1). Muscle injuries can happen for a number of reasons, fatigue, poor training structure, inappropriate warm up, inefficient biomechanics or poor technique, insufficient rehabilitation and lack of preventative protocols, unfortunately however they often seem to come out of the blue. Even the most well prepared and fastidious sports person can suffer an unexpected muscle strain. The majority of people that experience acute muscle strains do so whilst performing sport or exercise, however it is not unheard of to suffer a muscle tear under less strenuous activity.
Muscle injuries can also be chronic in nature, and are often reported as 'muscle tightness'. They have similar precipitating factors to muscle tears and can be particularly painful, and disruptive to an athlete (1). It is important to treat and completely rehabilitate muscle injuries as previous muscle strain is a key factor in predicting future muscular injury (2).
What will my physiotherapist do?
Your HCPC registered, chartered Health in Motion Physiotherapist will assess and treat not just the injured muscle, but will identify potential causes of the injury and will work with you to reduce the chances of future injury. This will involve the taking of a thorough history of the injury and your symptoms, followed by a comprehensive physical examination. You will have the chance to ask any questions throughout the assessment and your physiotherapist will work with you to treat your problem. After your assessment you will receive treatment to help you begin your recovery, and will be taught what you need to do to facilitate the healing of your muscle.
Treatment will vary depending on the type of muscle injury you have experienced and the stage of healing that you are in. Treatment of the muscle injury itself may include soft tissue massage, deep transverse friction massage, electrotherapies, taping and cryotherapy. To facilitate the healing process you may also be guided through a specific exercise regime which might include stretches and strengthening exercises. You may also be given a series of preventative exercises which will aim to improve the muscles durability and avoid subsequent re-injury.
What do I need to do?
Book an appointment by calling 0114 208 6267 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You don't need to bring any special clothes or equipment just be sure to bring clothes which will allow your physiotherapist access to the injured muscle e.g. shorts if you have injured a muscle in your leg.
1). Haensel, L. et al. Terminology and classification of muscle injuries in sport: a consensus statement. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2012;10.
2). Hagglund, M. et al. Risk factors for lower extremity muscle injury in professional soccer: The UEFA injury study. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013;41(2): 327-335.