Contrary to popular belief, genuine muscle strains are relatively uncommon. They occur very suddenly, on exertion, and cause a very sudden and severe pain. The most common place to experience muscle strain is in the hamstring (back of your thigh) or in your gastrocnemius (calf). If you have recently experienced a muscle strain please go to our recent injury management page and follow the instructions.
Physiotherapy can be very helpful in the early stages of muscle strain, to help control swelling and flush out toxins using massage therapy. In the middle and latter stages of healing massage therapy is important to maintain the compliance of the injured tissue and ensure it heals in as similar a way to the surrounding tissue as possible and prevent recurrence in the future. Animal studies have shown that massage reduces adhesions and fibrosis following injury.
It is important following muscle strain to rest for the first week and then progressively stretch and strengthen the injured muscle ‘within mild pain limits’; this isn’t a time to push the pain limits … if you are too aggressive you could damage the fragile tissue again rather than helping it heal.