10 Muscle Strain Symptoms

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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Our muscles do a lot of work pretty much every day. They are constantly pulling to help us move and we can sometimes take them for granted. We might sometimes expect too much of them and put them under too much pressure, causing them to rip and tear.

A tear in the muscle fibers is known as a strain. It can affect the tendons as well as the fibers of the muscles themselves. It can be very painful and lead to the patient becoming immobile. A muscle strain will generally require medical assistance.

Here’s a look at a few of the signs that a muscle strain may have occurred.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #1: Unable to Use the Muscle

Our muscles are essential for us because, without them, we would not be able to move. Whenever one of our muscles contracts, it pulls on tendons and causes motion in our limbs. It is a very effective system and allows us to lift heavy objects while also providing flexibility.

In case of a muscle strain, however, you may find that you cannot use the muscle at all. Either damage to the muscle inhibits you from using it, or a torn tendon might leave it ineffective. Regardless, it is best that you rest the injury so that it is able to heal.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #2: Bruising

Our muscles are interlaced with blood vessels that help to supply them with what they need. This means oxygen and nutrients that provide the building blocks and the energy that we need to move. This also means that should you suffer an injury to your muscles, you can damage blood vessels as well.

When you damage blood vessels within muscles, it is likely to lead to blood escaping. Because these vessels are still beneath the skin, the blood will remain beneath the skin rather than leaking out of the body. This will result in dark patches where the blood is visible and we commonly know this phenomenon as bruising.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #3: Pain

Our muscles and ligaments are also interlaced with nerve endings. They need to be because they are how the brain will know what is happening within the body. This also means that you can expect quite a lot of pain if you do experience a muscle strain.

If you do strain your muscles then you are likely to experience considerable pain immediately. The level of pain will also make it difficult for you to put weight on that part of the body. The pain will subside in time and painkillers can help to relieve the patient of their discomfort. You should be mindful though that some painkillers can be habit-forming.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #4: Soreness

Many injuries are going to be painful, and they will generally be most painful at the time the injury occurs. The pain will often linger for some time after the injury, gradually decreasing in time, and is likely to be worse when the injured part is moved. Some injuries can also cause some other types of pain.

In addition to the initial pain caused by a muscle strain, you are also likely to feel quite a lot of soreness. This can cause you to feel sore even when you are at rest and it can sometimes make it difficult for you to sleep at night.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #5: Muscle Spasms

Spasms in the muscle are caused by the muscle contracting and relaxing quickly. It is often experienced by athletes that are not in their best condition. It can be quite painful and the patient will usually have little to no control over it. It is also a potential symptom of a muscle strain.

Muscle spasms are often treated with relaxants that help to prevent the contractions. They are usually only temporary and will normally stop occurring once the injury has healed. If they do occur frequently even without an injury then you should arrange to find out what is causing it.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #6: Discoloration

A muscle strain will often be quite a significant injury and one that can change the physical appearance of the area. This includes the color of the region as the skin can take on a different shade than usual. You can often expect that area to be visibly red in addition to any bruising that it may have.

The increased redness will likely be down to the increased blood flow in the area. In addition to taking on a different color, you can also expect the skin at the site to take on a different texture. These symptoms will probably clear up completely once the wound has healed.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #7: Stiffness

It is not uncommon for us to wake up with stiff muscles. This will often go away after a few minutes or maybe after a good stretch. Sometimes, though, this stiffness is not so likely to go away easily. Stiffness in the muscles is one fairly likely symptom of a muscle strain.

When you have stiff muscles, you might think of going for a massage but this might not be a good idea if you have a muscle strain. If it is bothering you too much then you should consider speaking with a doctor and they may be able to prescribe something to help relieve the symptom.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #8: Swelling

The site of an injury in the body could be likened to a road traffic accident. In no time at all, emergency vehicles will be sent to the area to begin repairing the damage. This can mean many vehicles of different types swarming to the area in a short space of time. The body will see something similar in the case of an injury, only the vehicles will be blood cells.

An injury means an increased flow of fluids to the area. The skin stretches and will begin to swell as more fluids fill the area. However, the swelling will go away eventually.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #9: Weakness

We get much of our physical strength from our muscles. The muscles’ cells contract and this causes them to pull. The larger the muscles, the more pulling power they have meaning it is usually the healthiest and fittest that have greater physical strength.

A muscle strain will cause physical damage to the muscle, limiting its ability to pull. This will cause a temporary weakness of the muscle that should be able to make a full recovery in time. Bear in mind that while a full recovery can usually be expected, it can take time and expert medical assistance should be sought.

Muscle Strain

Symptom #10: Knotting Up

Certain injuries can lead to certain symptoms that are quite distinctive. This can help medical professionals to find out the cause as soon as possible and start working on a remedy. People that have experienced a muscle strain will often complain that they feel a “knotted up” sensation in the damaged muscle.

If you are experiencing a symptom like this and you are not sure why, you should make an appointment to get it checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes, the damage can be minor and difficult to detect, and X-rays or other methods might be needed to get a closer look.

Muscle Strain

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