Muscle Injuries/Strain

Muscle strain occurs when a muscle is stretched too much, too quickly, or works too hard. Sudden or excessive forceful eccentric contraction (muscle lengthens as it contracts) of the muscle causes overstretching which results in tearing of the muscle fibers.This sometimes makes the muscle tear. Muscles that are commonly strained include those in the back, neck, and back of the leg. Symptoms of muscle strain include muscle spasms or tightness, swelling, bruising, muscle weakness, or inability to move the muscle.

Physical Examination

Evaluation: Imaging


Supportive Care "RICEAS"

Rest and avoid movements/activities that can reproduce pain

Ice: Apply on the painful muscle every 1-2 hours for 15 minutes each time for up to two days. Place thin towel between the ice and skin

Compression: wrap the affected muscle with an elastic bandage to help support the muscle

Elevation: raise the muscle above the level of the heart


Stretch/Exercise: After pain resolves, gently stretch and exercise the muscle as it can help strengthen the muscle

 Refer to Orthopedic team for suspicions of muscle tear.