When resistance training or weightlifting, one of the most common injuries that occur is severe muscle strain. While muscle strain injuries do not always require medical intervention, they do need to be looked after to heal properly. Muscle strains account for more than 45% of resistance training injuries, 30% of which are severe muscle strain which could result in a muscle or tendon rupture or tear.
Common Causes Of Muscle Strain
By far the most common resistance training injury, muscle strain injury, can have a lot of different root causes.
- Warm Up – Warming up and getting your muscles ready for an upcoming workout is imperative to building muscle and your own safety.
- Poor Flexibility – It’s always a great feeling to push your body to its strength limits and watch them increase over time, but there are some limits that should never be messed with, specifically flexibility. Building bulk muscle and muscle density will reduce range of motion by a considerable amount, which is not a problem for those who want more muscle, but should be taken into consideration before pushing the boundaries of flexibility.
- Overexertion – As much as it is good to push personal limits further, a line should be drawn at a certain point. Muscles do have a finite amount of strain they can go through before becoming damaged. It’s important not to push yourself to a point of acute muscle strain.
- Poor Form – Form and technique is incredibly important to keep yourself from getting injured during resistance training. Lifting weights while in an awkward position is bound to do more harm than good.
How To Deal With Muscle Strain
Fortunately, the majority of muscle strain injuries will not require seeking medical attention, for the most part treatment can be done at home. Muscle strain cannot be ignored though, you will need to take the time to heal the injury or risk making the situation much worse. For most injuries, the RICE method will be the best treatment path.
- Rest – Rest is likely the best remedy to help muscles in a path to recovery. Take some time out and play fun games online to give your body the chance to recover. While exerting an injured muscle is not a good idea, too much rest can also negatively affect your muscles. After the pain subsides, start stretching and lightly using the muscles again.
- Ice – Icing a freshly injured muscle will help minimize swelling and promote faster healing times. Icing should be done every few hours for the first few days of the injury.
- Compression – Compression wraps and elastic bandages will help reduce swelling of the affected area, to reduce pain and promote faster healing.
- Elevation – For the first few days, keeping the injury elevated above heart level will help reduce pain and swelling.
Some doctors recommend avoid any painkillers or anti-inflammatories that may cause bleeding for the first few days, meaning no aspirin or ibuprofen until the swelling starts to subside.
In severe cases of muscle strain where there may be a potential rip or tear, seeking further medical assistance will be essential to have the muscle heal correctly.