It’s Okay, It’s Only a Muscle Strain

Muscle Strain Injuries - PhysiotherapyThere is a popular misconception among athletes and managers that a muscle strain is nothing more than a cramp. They think this will settle in a few days and they will be fit for the following week.

However a strain is a muscle tear i.e. there is some disruption of the muscle fibres no matter how many or few.

When a strain/tear occurs, muscle fibres are damaged and the body sets about healing itself and lays down scar tissue which with appropriate rest and rehabilitation will reorganise to become functioning tissue. Even a mild strain or grade 1 tear of the hamstring will usually take 2-3 weeks to rehabilitate even when everything is done to maximise the healing process!

On occasions a strain occurs prior to a major event such as Diego Costas before the Champions League Final. I’m sure the Atletico Madrid medical team explained it was a few weeks injury, hence players will go with the latest “quick fix” to get someone to tell them they can outsmart nature. In Costa’s case it was horse placenta therapy in Serbia.

Inevitably these wacky fad treatments usually give the same result. Costas lasted 9 minutes into the final before pulling up and he has now put the World Cup in jeopardy.

Our clinic has seen many fads come and go and many interpretations of what a strain is and how you can return quicker.

What is consistent is that the tear has to heal! And if healing time is fast tracked, re-injury usually occurs.