What is a Strain?

Have you, or someone you know, ever yelped “I think I’ve pulled something!” during a workout or while playing a game?

Depending on the warmup, or intensity level of the sport, a muscle can be overstretched during an activity leading to a Strain.
Here is a quick physiology review for those of you interested. Muscles are comprised of small fibers, think of spaghetti strands bundled together. This grouping is called a Fascicle, which is covered with tissue called Sarcolemma. Inside the muscle fiber grouping are even smaller groupings of Myofibrils, and inside those Myofilaments which contain Myosin and Actin. It is the interaction of the myosin and actin which cause the contractile motion of the muscle, helping to propel your joint into action.
Unlike a sprain, a strain is injury to a muscle or tendon. During a strain, one quick motion or high force, while those fibers are in their lengthened position can cause them to tear. This can happen in the muscle belly, or more commonly at the muscle/tendon junction.
Depending on the degree of overstretch, the velocity,  and angle of the force  depends on the degree of the tear. Like a sprain, and strain has 3 Grades of severity.
Grade I- Small tear to a portion  of the muscle fibers, about 5-10%. There is immediate pain, along with some redness, or small amount of bruising and swelling.
Grade II- A larger tear, with more significant bruising, swelling and pain. This takes longer to heal, and during this time the joint often feels very “stiff”. It is important however, to keep moving the joint.
Grade III- This is a complete rupture, and the muscle will not work at all. You might hear a “pop”, with surprisingly not a lot of pain, since the nerves are usually severed as well. You can typically feel a balled up muscle under your skin, and see a large amount of bruising from the torn blood vessels. Unfortunately, surgery is usually required in this case.
Ice, rest and elevation. Depending on the severity you may need a evaluation from a health care provider for more specific rehabilitation interventions. Surgery maybe required to reattach the muscle, following a period of immobilization of at least 4-6 weeks to allow the muscle to heal. During this time you will not be able to activate the muscle.
If you go to physical therapy,  motion will first be restored to the joint. Then you will begin to activate the muscle throughout it’s full range. Just moving the joint through it’s full range of motion is the beginning of strengthening. If surgery was not required, strengthening progresses depending on what the muscle can tolerate.  However if there was a surgery, resistive strengthening will not be started until 10-12 weeks following the surgery.
Slowly ease into a intense workout, or a game (AKA warm up, warm up, warm up). Muscles do not like going from 0-60 mph, in less then 3 seconds. In this case they have a harder time reacting to large stretches and forces. Muscles are also unable to react efficiently if they are fatigued. Stop when you are tired, and allow the muscles to fully recover.
Muscle strains can also occur if there are muscle imbalances in length (flexibility), and in strength. Make sure to include stretching and strengthening to your workout programs. If you have any questions feel free to send me an e-mail at berryhappybodies@gmail.com
Levangie, P. Norkin, C. Joint Structure & Function A Comprehensive Analysis.Davis Company, Philadelphia. 2005.
Contributed by Dr. Alison Cupini


  1. Great info, thanks!

  2. Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of
    the images aren't loading properly. I'm not
    sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

    Feel free to visit my weblog ... eye gel

  3. Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading
    your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thank you so much!

    Also visit my web-site :: White Kidney Bean Extract

  4. I am now not sure where you're getting your information, however good topic. I needs to spend a while studying much more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic info I was looking for this information for my mission.

    Take a look at my site; Veluminous Skin Care

  5. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this website, for the reason that i want enjoyment, for the reason that
    this this site conations in fact good funny stuff too.

    Feel free to visit my web site; Diet Patch Today

  6. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

    I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    Here is my web blog: Skin care

  7. Thanks for the good writeup. It actually was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far brought agreeable from you! By the way, how
    can we be in contact?

    My web-site: Natural Cleanse Reviews

  8. Hurrah, that's what I was looking for, what a data! existing here at this web site, thanks admin of this website.

    Look at my web site: NaturaCleanse Diets

  9. Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

    Here is my blog post ... Ripped Muscle Xtreme Diet

  10. Muscles staring create a lot of problems, people can't be able to walk
    properly. People should consult the physiotherapist to recovery form pain and
    injury. They provide treatment according to injury. First, the make plan them start the treatment. Thanks for sharing the information.

    Reference: http://www.dynamicphysiotherapy.ie/

  11. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this site.


    Here is my web blog - Max Thermo Burn Muscle reviews

  12. Established transportation infrasctructure for a plethora of lifestlye, dining and entertainment.
    the interlace condo :: theinterlacecondo.sg :

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Prove you're not a bot!