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What is a torn muscle?
A torn muscle is one of the conditions wherein there is damage to a muscle or its attaching tendons. In general, they usually refer to these conditions as muscle strain. An individual can experience this condition due to fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a specific muscle. You can identify that you have muscle strain through the following symptoms:
- First and foremost, muscle cramp or spasm occurs.
- Your injury shows swelling, bruising, or redness.
- You feel muscle pain even while you are resting.
- Additionally, you can feel pain when you use another muscle or joint relative to the injury.
- Furthermore, you will also feel weakness in your muscles or tendons.
- For the most part, you lost that specific muscle’s function entirely.
The video below graphically shows what happens when an individual experiences a pull in their muscle. Somehow, it can help you have a brief picture of what happens with a torn muscle. Once you have already identified that you have a current issue with your muscles, the next question is how you will recover from it.
Aside from that, recovery time is also one thing you can be curious about later on. Meanwhile, let us first know the actions we have to do to recover from a torn muscle.
A road to recovery
A mere poor posture or overexertion of movements can lead to muscle strain. It can either cause you muscle pain or cannot use that specific muscle at all. In this case, it would be best to know what to do during this situation initially.
The majority of a pulled or torn muscle can have treatment at home. However, you have to identify clearly whether your condition is minor or needs medical attention. If it’s minor, you can do the following first aid tips during this condition.
Applying first aid
- Rest: If you have a torn muscle, it would be best not to use that muscle for a while. It would help if you allow your muscle to rest for a few days to help it recover. Otherwise, you will only increase its strain and the pain associated with it. After a few days of rest, start re-using your muscle slowly. Please ensure not to overdo it.
- Note: Don’t rest your muscle for too long. Do some stretching to prevent it from getting stiff or weak.
- Ice: Apply an ice pack or wrap ice in a towel, then put it over your injured muscle. On the first day of your injury, repeat this every hour. On the following days, you may repeat it every four hours. Do this until you no longer feel the strain.
- Compression: You can also wrap your injury using an elastic bandage. However, make sure not to cover the area too tightly. It can affect your blood circulation.
- Elevation: At any possible time, it would help if you will raise your injured muscle above your heart level.
- Medication: Medicines like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling.
The first four options are the well-known RICE treatment for minor injuries.
If first aid treatment doesn’t work for your condition, you have to seek medical attention. The doctors will evaluate your torn muscle to see the severity of your condition. Aside from that, they will ask you questions about your symptoms. This way, they can decide what treatment you should undergo.
There are cases that an individual has to use crutches or a brace during their healing period. Additionally, doctors can also provide restrictions with activities. Doctors might even require a few days off from work.
Furthermore, some muscle strain may also need rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy. Physical therapy will help you strengthen the affected muscle and fully restore its movement. Consequently, physical therapy applies to moderate tears in the muscle.
On the other hand, for severe muscle tears, the doctors might require surgery to repair them.
Torn muscle recovery time
The recovery time of a torn muscle can vary according to its condition. Minor tears might only need a few days to recover fully. However, for moderate and severe conditions, you might need an extended period to recover.
Recovery time can also vary depending on your compliance. If you do not follow your doctor’s instructions, it can affect your healing process and recovery time. During your recovery period, it would be best to keep this adage in mind.
Do no HARM – Heat, Alcohol, Running, Massage. Doing any of these can cause additional damage. It can even lead to more bleeding and severe swelling. For this reason, the best thing you can do is to follow the doctor’s instructions if you want to return to your usual activities sooner.
You can still recover from the strain and your muscle pain. There are first aid treatments that you can apply for minor strain conditions. On the other hand, moderate and severe torn muscles need medical support from health professionals.
Generally speaking, the more you follow the doctor’s instructions, the sooner you recover from torn muscles. So, do your part and listen to your doctor.