Muscle Strains

Muscle injuries can be classified as mild (grade 1, strain), moderate (grade 2, partial tear of myotendinous units), or severe (grade 3, complete tear of myotendinous units). Mild injuries are tender and painful with active use but cause minimal strength loss. Moderate injuries demonstrate clear weakness with resisted muscle testing and pain with passive stretching. Severe injuries cause significant functional and strength deficits and may show ecchymosis and a palpable defect on examination.

In running and sprinting athletes, hamstring muscle strains are the most common muscle injury (Lysholm and Wiklander, 1987; Meeuwisse et al., 2000; Orchard and Seward, 2002). Other common muscle strains include those of the quadriceps (especially the rectus femoris) and the gastroc-nemius. The most significant risk factor for a muscle strain is a recent or past history of that same injury, and incomplete rehabilitation may also contribute to recurrent injuries (Ekstrand and Gillquist, 1983; Orchard, 2001). Other risk factors for muscle injury include poor warm-up, muscle fatigue, and muscle imbalance (Agre, 1985; Croisier et al., 2002; Garrett, 1996; Safran et al., 1989).

Initial treatment of an acute muscle strain involves ice application to limit pain and swelling and relative rest to protect the muscle from more significant injury. A short 3- to 5-day course of NSAIDs can help limit overall inflammation and pain in acute muscle injuries. Gentle stretching to restore flexibility should begin when pain allows, and rehabilitation should progress through isometric, concentric, and finally eccentric strengthening exercises before returning to sports-specific activities.

Soccer Fitness 101

Soccer Fitness 101

Be a star on the field in no time! Get Fit For The Soccer Field In 10 Easy Steps! With soccer season looming just around the corner it’s never too early to start getting ready. Soccer is an intense game, and it’s going to take a lot of work on your part to make sure that you’re ready to stay ahead of your competition out on that field.

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