A muscle is what is known as a “contractile” structure, which is to say that it can be made to contract and can also be controlled. It is important to dissociate muscles from tendons, which are the connections between muscles and bones.
There are 3 types of muscle injuries:
· Contusions: caused by impact to a muscle. Muscle fibres compressed in this manner can become irritated and even torn.
· Elongation: caused when a muscle is stretched beyond its capacity. Certain muscle fibres can also become torn in this manner.
· Strain: caused when intense and rapid contraction is demanded of a muscle. Such contractions can be too strong, and muscle fibres may be unable to resist.
The severity of a given injury depends upon the particular muscle that has been affected and the degree of tearing.
Signs & Symptoms:
· Increased pain during contraction and possible inability to perform certain movements;
· Localized pain during palpation;
· Occasionally, there may be deformity: a depression or cavity at the location where muscle fibres have been torn;
· Loss of strength;
· Appearance of a haematoma.
Application of ice and rest are both recommended as soon as possible following such an injury.
During the initial assessment, the physiotherapist will be able to determine the severity of the injury and establish a plan for treatment and the resumption of activities.
The physiotherapist may apply taping techniques to help athletes resume sporting activities.