What happens when you pull a muscle?
Also known as muscle strain and muscle tear, when a muscle is pulled, it refers to damage to a muscle and/or its tendon.
Fibers of the muscle and/or tendon are torn causing injury to small blood vessels, with local bleeding or bruising, swelling, and pain resulting from the irritation of nerve endings in the area. In addition to these symptoms, the patient may experience pain at rest, experience pain when the specific muscle and/or the related joint is in use, experience weakness in the muscle or tendon, or cannot use the muscle at all. However, if the patient experiences acute pain, significant swelling, fever, an open wound, cannot walk, or heard a “popping” sound, they should be taken to the hospital emergency room. Otherwise, rest, ice, compression, and elevation is the course of action to be taken (also referred to as R.I.C.E.). When applying ice, the patient should apply the ice until numbness occurs. The progression begins as Cold, to Burning, to Aching, and then Numbness (C.B.A.N.). Numbness generally occurs after 20 to 30 minutes of initially applying ice. After the swelling has subsided, then heat can be applied to the injury. An earlier application of heat can increase swelling and cause the level of pain to increase. It is also crucial to protect the strain from further injury.
In addition to rest, ice, compression, and elevation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and naproxen should be taken to reduce pain and swelling. Although medical treatment will be incredibly similar to what you would do at home, the doctor can diagnose the extent of the injury to the muscle and/or tendon. Your doctor can determine if you need crutches or a brace; if you need to restrict your activity or stay home from work; and if physical therapy is necessary for complete healing.
Louisiana Pain Specialists
To make an appointment with one of our physicians, contact Louisiana Pain Specialists by calling (504) 267-1185. Louisiana Pain Specialists serves the Metro New Orleans area at five different locations: in Kenner at 231 West Esplanade Avenue, Suite B; in Metairie at 3434 Houma Boulevard, Suite 301; in New Orleans at 3439 Prytania Street, Suite 501; in New Orleans East at 5621 Read Boulevard; and in Marrero at 4520 Wichers Drive, Suite 205. While we participate in most insurance plans, our insurance specialist will confirm your coverage prior to attending your appointment. Join us at one of our five locations!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.