Muscle Strain: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Muscle strain or pulled muscle usually occurs when muscles or tendons are damaged. This damage is characterized by overstretching or undue pressure on muscles.

Undue pressure or overstretching falls on muscles when you are carrying out your daily activities or lifting excess weights. Strain can happen in any muscle but it is most common in shoulders, neck, lower back or hamstring.

Mild to moderate muscle strain can be treated at home with ice, stretching, heat and pain relievers. If pain is extreme then there is need to visit doctor.

Symptoms of Muscle Strain

You will experience muscle pain as following symptoms occurs:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Weakness of the muscles and tendons
  • Stiffness
  • Immobility of muscles
  • Soreness
  • Pain while moving
  • Muscle Contraction

Causes of Muscle Strain

Muscle strains usually occurs when muscles are torn suddenly and unexpectedly. Such torn are due to injuries. Some other causes are:

  • Heavy Lifting of things
  • Stretching of Muscles is improper.
  • Flexibility is poor.
  • Falling from a height
  • Poor warm up before workout routine
  • Sleeping on one side for longer period of time
  • Lifting heavy weights during workout
  • Slip away

Treatment of Muscle Strain

Use RICE technique to further prevent the severity of the problem.

R -> Rest

I -> Ice

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C -> Compression

E -> Elevation


This is the first step to be adopted immediately after muscle injury. Stop using of muscle fro some days if movement causes pain.


Apply ice immediately on affected area. Ice will reduce swelling. Don’t apply ice directly, use ice pack or pack it in towel. Place the ice on affected muscle for 20 minutes. Reapply ice after one hour.


Wrap the muscle with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling. Don’t wrap it tightly otherwise blood circulation can be reduced.


Always try to put your damage muscles level above your heart.

Use anti-inflammatory Medications

You can take anti inflammatory medications to relieve the pain of muscle strain and swelling down.

Always Warm Up Before Workout

Stretching and warm up before exercise will increase the flow of blood circulation and will decrease the chances of muscle strain.

Keep Stretching of Muscles after Strain

It is very important to stretch the muscles once the affected area is healed. Otherwise this can increase pain.

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