Muscle strains, or a pulled a muscle, occurs when the muscle is overstretched leading to a tearing of fibres. This can occur when you are fatigued, have poor flexibility or perform a movement your body is not accustomed to.
Most will experience pain, weakness and limited mobility. Depending on the degree of injury, there may be swelling and bruising. Severe injury may require surgery. Most muscle strains are mild-moderate and will usually resolve in 2-4 weeks, however, more significant tears can take months to heal.
Prevention is key to muscle strains, and you should consider the following:-
# Warm up prior to physical activity
# Allow time to stretch and improve flexibility
# Incorporate strength and conditioning into your training regime
# Avoid slipping into overtraining and allow sufficient time for recovery
Acute muscle strains can occur when walking, so it does not just occur in high energy physical activities. Chronic muscle strains are as a result of repetitive movement such sitting with poor posture, or involvement in sports like rowing, tennis or golf.
If you suffer a muscle strain then it is important to apply the Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation principal. If you are unsure of what to do then consult your local therapist.