A strain is an injury in which a muscle or its attaching tendon get either stretched beyond its capacity or torn. This occurs when you put undue stress on any of these connective tissues during the course of your everyday movements, while doing tasks at work, or during exercise or sports.
When you strain a muscle or tendon, you usually feel pain, limited mobility, swelling, muscle spasms, and redness or bruising. While these symptoms seem relatively minor compared to those of other types of musculoskeletal injuries, treatment is equally important for a strain. Leaving a strain untreated can change the way you move your joints, forcing your bones and other connective tissues to “pick up the slack” to make up for the weakness. Such altered biomechanics can result in the wear and tear of your cartilage and ultimately in osteoarthritis (OA).
Below, you’ll learn about the different treatments for a strain. Which of these is best for you essentially depends on its severity.
The R.I.C.E. Method
If you suspect a strain, it is important to apply the R.I.C.E. method immediately. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation:
- Rest helps prevent further damage to your muscle or tendons and makes it easier for your body to heal itself.
- Ice prevents swelling.
- Compression helps improve circulation, which is essential for healing.
- Elevation prevents swelling, reduces pain, and speeds up healing.
If the self-care measures above don’t work, see your orthopedic doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.
They may have you wear a splint or a brace for a few weeks. Immobilization helps alleviate your symptoms, facilitate healing, and reduce your risk for further injury.
Your orthopedic doctor may also recommend physical therapy, which typically employs a combination of exercises and treatment modalities aimed at addressing your symptoms, strengthening your muscles and tendons, and restoring your normal function.
Surgery is often necessary for a grade 3 tear, in which your muscle or tendon is torn all the way through; or if your symptoms persist despite a lengthy course of conservative treatment.
Strain Treatment Near Me in Hartford County, Ct & Springfield, MA
For first-rate orthopedic care in Hartford County, Connecticut or Springfield, Massachusetts, visit us here at Advanced Orthopedics New England. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are committed to delivering the best possible treatment outcomes for the full range of musculoskeletal problems. Whether it is a strain, sprain, fracture, arthritis, or tendinitis, you can count on our providers to put you on the path to a comfortable, quick, and successful recovery.
Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons today! Call our office today at (860) 728-6740 or use our convenient online request form.