- What is the Difference Between a Strain and a Sprain?
- How Does Physiotherapy Help Treat The Injury?
- When is it Time to See Our Physiotherapist?
Muscle strains can happen to anyone at any given time. You don’t need to be a sprinter to pull a hamstring, and you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to tear a bicep.
If you’ve ever had a muscle strain, you might’ve been recommended to visit a physiotherapist by your doctor, a family member, or a friend. With no previous knowledge on the benefits of physiotherapy, it’s easy to choose medication as a temporary measure to reduce and control pain.
However, choosing physiotherapy will treat the symptoms AND provide education on the extent of the injury, look at possible causes, and ways to prevent recurrence.
What is the Difference Between a Strain and a Sprain?
Strains and sprains may sound similar and are often confused, but they are two completely different types of injuries. Both muscle strains and ligament sprains can be excruciatingly painful and your physiotherapist will be able to assess the injured tissue accurately to develop an effective treatment plan.
A strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. The tendon is the connection of the muscle to the bone. A sprain, on the other hand, is a stretching of the ligaments which is tissue that connects two bones together.
Common Locations for Muscle Strain
Of course, any muscle in your body is subject to strains, but like any other injury, some occur more often than others. The most common muscle strains occur within the hamstring, quadriceps, calf, back and groin.
How Does Physiotherapy Help Treat The Injury?
Upon your first visit, our physiotherapist will begin their assessment by gaining a bit of background knowledge on your injury.
Afterwards, a physical examination will take place which will evaluate the actual cause of your symptoms. Sometimes pain can be located in an entirely different area of the body from that which is injured.
From there, our physiotherapist will create a treatment plan that will address your specific needs, as well as long-term goals for the recovery process. A variety of different methods of treatment will be used.
Learn more about our approach to treating muscle sprains and strains.
Devices such as an ultrasound or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) may be used to heat up deeper tissues to aid in the healing process and decrease pain. By heating up the tissue, blood flow is increased in the area allowing for quicker recovery.
Manual or Self-Stretching
Muscle tightness can likely occur after an injury which will affect your ability to move the joint/muscle as you had previously. By assisting you in stretches proven to be beneficial for your specific injury, the stretches will help lengthen and loosen the muscles, ultimately increasing your flexibility and range of motion.
Perhaps one of the most important and beneficial parts of Physiotherapy, injury-related strengthening exercises ensure that your muscles do not become weak while the injury is healing.
These exercises also help to strengthen your muscles to ensure you can get back to your previous activities/work sooner, as well as prevent any future injuries.
When is it Time to See Our Physiotherapist?
Immediately after an injury, it is important that you follow RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) protocol for the affected muscle/joint. This will act as the most effective treatment plan for the time being.
If the pain does not subside after two or three days, it may be time to visit our physiotherapist. With more treatment options than we have included in this blog, our physiotherapists are equipped to assess the injury and develop a treatment plan for every patient, of every lifestyle.
With years of experience in treating aches and pains, show up to your first appointment with confidence that the source of your pain will be identified, and treated accordingly.