Wellness Wednesday: Signs & Symptoms of Strained Muscles


Loudoun County, Va. — The medical terminology for “pulled” muscle, is a strained muscle. The strain occurs when fibers of the muscles are torn. There are different degrees of a strain that directly correlate with how many fibers of the muscle are torn.

  1. Grade 1 strain: mild damage to tissues; less than 5% of fibers torn
  2. Grade 2 strain: more damage to muscle fibers; less than 50% of fibers torn
  3. Grade 2 strain: complete rupture of the muscle or tendon

What causes a strain of a muscle?

  • Improper warm up
  • Poor flexibility
  • Fatigue
  • Improper form during exercise
  • Quick, sudden movements

Signs and Symptoms of a strained muscle

  • Sudden pain that increases with contraction of that muscle
  • Bruising and swelling around the area of pain
  • Decrease in strength of the muscle
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Muscle spasms

Where do most muscle strains occur?

Muscle strains most commonly occur in the low back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring.

Note from our sponsor: Depending on the degree of strain, you should seek care from a healthcare professional! At LSTC, we have physical therapists and athletic trainers that can evaluate and diagnose the injury, and provide proper care for the degree of the strain. Strains can become a chronic, or longstanding issue that will reoccur if they are not treated and managed properly. Come see us today to avoid any problems in the future.


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Loudoun Sports Therapy Center is a premier physical therapy clinic. We offer outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy as well as specialty programs.

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