A pulled muscle in the leg and back? Why do muscle pulls occur and how can I prevent them from happening again?
A pulled muscle can be disabling and very painful. A muscle pull is actually a strain of the muscular tissue which is graded as the first, second, or third degree which is the worst. According to Wikipedia, they explain a muscular strain is “the muscle or tendon overstretches and partially tears, under more physical stress than it can withstand, often from a sudden increase in duration, intensity, or frequency of activity. Strains most commonly occur in the foot, leg, or back. ”
I pulled my right quadriceps while having a catch with my son in our driveway. I stepped down to pick up a ball and felt immediate pain. It also happened while playing tennis running for a ball a few years ago. Playing softball years ago resulted in a second-degree strain which had me limping for four weeks.
A typical muscle pull can require 6 weeks to heal and then you will need someone to knead the muscle tissue to release the scar that formed in the damaged tissue. There are different grades of pulls, with a full thickness tear being the worst type of muscle strain, where the muscle actually rips and the muscle can bunch up under the skin. This grade 3 strain may require surgery to fully repair although many people who have these adapt to them functionally. More typically, Grade 2 or a partial tear of fibers within the muscle will heal with a scar and grade 1 is a minor disruption of those fibers. Grade 1 strains are the least painful usually and will often allow full function sooner.
After the injury has healed, you should have a skilled healthcare practitioner such as a massage therapist, a chiropractor or a physical therapist break up the scarring within the damaged muscle that has healed to prevent further pain and help you improve your flexibility. Tissues that are tight after a strain can continue to get reinjured and the lack of flexibility makes it challenging to properly rehabilitate.
While many people recover and readapt to these injuries, we are better off if we prevent them from ever occurring.
Things you can do to prevent the next muscle pull.
- Visit a chiropractor of performs myofascial release.
- Don’t ignore chronic neck and back problems as they may be mechanical issues affecting your flexibility.
- Find a good personal trainer to improve your core strength and stability.
- Wear foot orthotics if you have an imbalance from the ground up. Many summer sandals have foot orthotics built into them.
- Regularly perform gluteal kicks, lateral leg raises, planks, superman and bird dogs for core stability.
- Find a great massage therapist to improve the way you move.
- Foam roll regularly.
- Follow this link for ways you can improve your posture now.
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