Muscle Tear Sunshine CoastJuly 20, 2011
Muscles are strained or torn when some or all of the fibres fail to cope with the demands placed upon them. A muscle is most likely to tear during sudden acceleration or deceleration. This can happen during the course of normal daily activities, with heavy lifting, during sports, or while performing work tasks. Some of the most commonly torn muscle groups are the hamstrings, quadriceps and gastrocnemius. These groups are more susceptible to injury as they are biarthrodial (cross two joints).
Muscle tears are classified in three grades. Grade 1 involves a small number of muscle fibres and cause pain but no significant loss of strength. Grade 2 involves a significant number of muscle fibres but the muscle is not torn through. With Grade 2 injuries there is pain with muscle contraction and stretch, and there is a reduction in muscle strength. A Grade 3 is a complete tear of the muscle and is associated with severe pain and significantly impaired function.
Management of muscle tear in the acute phase follows the principles of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). This helps to minimise bleeding, swelling and inflammation. Subsequent physiotherapy treatment promotes efficient scar formation and return to activity with the use of strengthening exercises, electrotherapeutic modalities (ultrasound etc.), soft tissue therapy and stretching.