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Symptoms and Treatments of a Torn Muscle

The symptoms and treatments for a torn muscle vary in severity. To prevent the problem from developing long-term effects, it is very important that you understand the warning signs of a muscle tear so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible. We are going to discuss some of the most common signs of a torn muscle as well as the forms of treatment available to correct the damage.

Minor muscle tears are quite common among athletes and those trying to build up muscle mass using a weight workout. The signs of a slight tear are often times not as noticeable as a larger tear and are usually shrugged off as overexerting oneself. A small tear is often referred to as a pulled muscle, meaning only a few of the myofibrils of the muscle have been torn. Symptoms of a pulled muscle include a spasm in the area that is affected as well as pain when the muscle is moved. The spasm sensation is the muscle’s way of bunching up to protect itself while it works on repairing the damage. A week or two of rest should be sufficient time for the few torn pieces of muscle to weave back together. If the muscle is still a little painful, the rest therapy should be continued until the muscle is no longer painful to move.

A partially torn muscle is considered to be a “second degree” strain because it is a bit more severe than a pulled muscle, yet not the worst tear possible. This type of muscle tear is often accompanied by severe pain and muscle spasm. Along with these symptoms, the muscle will be weakened and a bit difficult to move, although movement is still possible. During a workout, many people first mistake this pain for the burning feeling that muscles experience during weight training. A burning sensation is okay during a workout, however outright pain and muscle weakness is not. The workout should be stopped right away and the muscle should be allowed to rest. Ice cubes can be placed in a cloth and applied to the muscle for about fifteen minutes, but no longer. Do not apply heat to a muscle tear. A partially torn muscle should be seen by a primary care doctor who will inspect the muscle (possibly using an MRI or x-ray machine) to determine the severity of the tear. He will then discuss whether conservative or surgical treatment is necessary to repair the damage.

The most severe type of muscle tear, considered to be a “third degree” strain, is a fully torn muscle. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds and requires a great deal of treatment to restore the muscle to full use and mobility. A complete muscle tear is extremely painful and results in total loss of use of the muscle. The muscle will begin to roll up into itself causing the area under the skin to form a ball-like shape. This type of tear will definitely require emergency treatment, which means an immediate trip to the hospital. The surgeon will have to perform a procedure to correct the issue. The longer the muscle is left torn and balled up, the less effective the procedure will be, as the muscle fibers are literally dying off. If too much of the tissue dies, or becomes “scarred”, muscle weakness or loss of usage may occur even after surgery.

As you can see, muscle tears can be minor or they can be extremely serious. If you ever experience a sensation that you believe to be a muscle tear and become worried about the severity of the issue, see your doctor as soon as possible. If you do notice the area of the muscle balling up underneath the skin, get to the hospital right away for treatment.



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