Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Muscle Strains Overview

What are muscle strains?
A person with a muscle strain has stretching or tearing of a muscle, which occurs when the muscle is overloaded beyond its capacity. Most muscle strains cause a partial tear in the muscle. A complete tear through the muscle is called a muscle rupture. The most common causes of muscle strains include sports injuries and heavy lifting.

What are the symptoms of muscle strains?
Symptoms of muscle strains include bruising, deformed muscle, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, muscle pain, muscle swelling, muscle tenderness, and muscle weakness.

How does the doctor treat muscle strains?
Treatment for muscle strains includes rest, elevation, and cold compresses for the first 48 hours following an injury. Additional treatment for muscle strains may include massage, stretching, warm compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Muscle Strains Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Muscle Strains References
  1. Bennett R. Addressing musculoskeletal pain. Geriatrics. 2004 Aug;59(8):11-2. [15332411]
  2. Croisier JL, Forthomme B, Namurois MH, Vanderthommen M, Crielaard JM. Hamstring muscle strain recurrence and strength performance disorders. Am J Sports Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;30(2):199-203. [11912088]
  3. Garnett WR. GI effects of OTC analgesics: implications for product selection. J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 1996 Sep;NS36(9):565-72. [8824076]
  4. Orchard JW. Intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for muscle strains in Australian football. Am J Sports Med. 2001 May-Jun;29(3):300-3. [11394599]
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