Strained & Pulled Muscles


Strained and Pulled Muscle Treatment is Provided at Knoxville Spine and Sports

Pulled Muscle in leg of woman seeks treatment at physical therapist and chiropractor in knoxville tn

A pulled muscle or Strained Muscle is the bane of any athlete’s existence and also for any non-athletes too. Inevitably, it will lead to missed practices and games. You’ve worked so hard to earn your spot in the starting line-up and now the back-up is getting their chance to shine. Your coach has found out that nothing is fully torn or broken and therefore is fairly unsympathetic to something “as mild as a pulled muscle”. All the while, it hurts. Bad. Function is severely reduced. You can barely move much less go to practice. What do you do? How do you get it better?

Physical Therapy and Chiropractic for strained and pulled muscles

There are varying degrees of muscular or tendinous strains or “pulls”. With a grade one tear, A few muscle fibers have been stretched past their normal length and a few may have been torn. Due to the heavy innervation of muscles and tendons, this HURTS. A low-grade strain is no small matter as decreased function due to pain inhibition can be a serious detriment and therefore needs to be addressed.

In a grade 2 strain, more of the muscle fibers have been fully torn. This is a moderate strain and can be referred to as a partial tear. The inflammatory response will be greater and it is not uncommon to see some bruising as some of the superficial capillaries may burst in the event. With this, there will certainly be pain but you may also note some weakness that extends beyond pain inhibition. With a grade 3 strain, the length of the muscle or tendon is fully torn, and therefore will no longer function. Pain, swelling, bruising are all common but the hallmark is the physical inability to move the effected body part as the muscle is no longer connected. Unfortunately, Grade 3 tears are always a surgical fix.

As for grade 1 and 2 strains, chiropractic care and physical therapy are the best possible things for these to speed up the recovery from these conditions. Here are a few ways that we can help.

Chiropractic Care for Pulled Muscles and Stain

Chiropractic care has been long used to help support a faster recovery from a pulled muscle and strain. Using non surgical methods, we are able to help treat your issue quickly. Our Knoxville chiropractors will make sure to work with the rest of your rehabilitative team to ensure a speedy recovery and you are able to get yourself back into play faster than ever. 

Physical Therapy to treat strained and pulled pulled muscles

Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatments for your pulled or strained muscle. Using rehabilitation takes into consideration your range of motion, stretching, and other movements to help work through the strain from your injury. Our team is highly qualified to not only treat this condition but work with athletes that are looking to get onto the field quicker. 

Icing protocol – 15 on, 15 off, 15 on

Ice can be used to treat muscle strain and muscle pulls in

The inflammatory response gets a bad rep. It is crucial to tissue healing by way of promoting circulation of damaged cells out of the area and healing cells into the area. It helps to neutralize pathogens and other harmful cells that would further damage the area. This being said, it hurts. Often it hurts so much that movement is inhibited which ultimately slows the healing process. Therefore managing the inflammatory response is crucial following the initial onset of injury. 

Ice is best used immediately following the injury and for the next 3-5 days that follow (depending on severity). What we have found in our practice is that there is a magic 45 minutes with regard to icing. Ice constant for 15 minutes, then take the heat off. Leave the ice off of the area for 15 minutes and then administer a new ice pack for 15 more minutes following. That last 15 minutes makes a huge difference. Remember, ice is primarily to be used on the front end of the injury to manage excessive inflammation. After that initial period, lose the ice and let the body work.

Gentle Movements to help treat muscle strain or pulled muscles

With a grade 1 or grade 2 tear, introducing gentle movements as soon as possible will be the most important thing that happens. A result of the inflammatory response to injury is the laying down of thick, rigid tissue, scar tissue, to knit the damaged area back together. This is necessary but can lead to further problems down the line as the tissue tends to be deposited in an erratic mess, sort of a tangled spiderweb of tissue. This will pull abnormally on the otherwise smooth and linear muscle tissue and restrict range of motion and cause pain. By gently stretching and contracting the damaged muscle, the scar tissue is being pulled linearly as it’s being laid down and therefore will keep it from creating such a tangled, restricted mess. It is also important for increasing blood flow and neurological awareness of the muscle.

Soft Tissue Massage and Gentle Tissue Mobilization

Massage therapy in knoxville helps with strained muscles and pulled muscles

Massage stimulates healing by way of maximizing the beneficial components of the inflammatory response. It increases circulation to the area which will help both push rebuilding cells into the area and therefore move the broken down cells out. Commonly, the synergistic muscles around the joint will tighten up in an effort to splint the joint and take pressure off of the damaged muscle. This makes good sense on the surface but goes against the principle of incorporating movements as soon as possible. Therefore, massage and other gentle tissue mobilization techniques such as light ART, FAKTR, and Graston can be beneficial for releasing the spastic tissue surrounding an injury.

Laser – Grade 4 Hot Laser to heal tissues in pulled and strained muscles

Grade 4 laser works wonders by increasing the ability of tissue to heal on a cellular level. The laser works by stimulating receptors within the mitochondria of the cell to produce more ATP, which is essentially the body’s energy currency. It is vital in all aspects of human function and is the molecule that makes nearly all cellular reactions in the body happen, including healing. Tissue takes energy to regenerate and the more energy that is accessible to the area, the faster the area will heal. Laser is very commonly prescribed in our office to athletes that are mid-season or in general to individuals that can’t afford a long drawn out recovery period.

Alas, a muscle pull doesn’t need to be a season ending injury. With a little love and a proper treatment protocol, time away from play can be cut in half. Don’t lose your spot in the starting line-up. Prioritize your care!!