Muscle tear: what it is, causes and remedies

Muscle tear: what it is, causes and remedies

How do you get a muscle tear, how it differs from a strain, what are the causes and possible remedies


  • How to tell if it's a tear or a strain
  • How long does the pain last and how long does it take to heal
  • 3 tips to prevent it

How to tell if it's a tear or a strain

The difference between muscle tear and strain lies in the severity of the injury. The stretching affects the muscle fibers but does not cause a real break. On an aesthetic level, so to speak, the tear, when very serious, creates a groove at the level of the affected muscle district or districts. If the injury of the stretch has a medium extent and below it is the contracture (involuntary and permanent increase in muscle tone), above both we could place the tear (breakage of muscle fibers). Depending on the number of muscle fibers involved and the extent of the elongation, in the case of stretching it goes in increasing order of severity (grade 1, 2 or 3). The stretch usually affects the muscles of the leg, arm, back, and those surrounding the neck. In the case of the tear, on the other hand, we find the areas of the lower and upper limbs mainly affected. In summary, in both cases too much is asked of the muscle, but in the case of the tear this stress becomes so important as to create a real break.

Even the tears can be I °, II ° and III ° and this depends on the number of fibers involved. In the 1st degree injury, few muscle fibers are damaged, the discomfort is mild and the movements are almost completely painless. The II degree injury affects a greater number of injured muscle fibers and for this reason every time you go to contract the affected muscle you feel a pain that significantly limits movement. The most serious – the 3rd degree injury – corresponds to a real laceration of the muscle and generates extreme pain that prevents movement.

How long does the pain last and how long does it take to heal

In addition to immediately suspending any physical effort that was being made at the time of the injury, it is necessary to have an orthopedic or otherwise specialist investigation to understand the nature of the damage to the fibers. If it is a minor injury, complete rest should be required for a couple of weeks. Along with rest, you must have the consistency of making cold compresses to support blood circulation and tolerate pain. On medical prescription you can take painkillers and muscle relaxant ointments; there are some excellent ones on the market based on natural herbs and obviously they must be applied without exaggerating with pressure or kneading so as not to worsen the situation.

The investigations must be completed with an ultrasound and a possible magnetic resonance for soft tissues. The higher the level of the injury, the longer the recovery time. In more serious cases, longer recovery times must be expected and physiotherapy sessions or other specialists who are able to treat the injury must be booked without causing further damage to the fibers. Many physiotherapists resort to treatments such as tecar therapy, laser therapy.

3 tips to prevent it

It is inevitable to reiterate that first of all the tear could be prevented through simple measures, among which we list some really important ones:

Warm up

Warming up the body and all its muscular districts well serves to avoid any type of injury, whether it is a contracture, a strain or a tear. A warm-up of at least 10 minutes – regardless of the effort you are making – allows you to keep the fibers healthy, cushion them and prepare them. This phase of training should not be underestimated and also determines the level of performance. Whatever effort you put into it, it also becomes very important to respect the day of rest and recovery, i.e. a day in which you do not do any type of training or at most a mild intensity walk. Muscle strain is more frequent in the disciplines of: elastic strength, maximal strength, speed and speed. Anyone who practices weightlifting, baseball, soccer, or sprint or jumping competitions should always take the utmost care when it comes to warming up.


At the end of the workout it becomes very important to always stretch the fibers gradually, without exaggerating. This allows the body to adjust to the elongation and to work in a gradual and important way on elasticity. Once a suitable training base has been built, the whole body regenerates and improves performance.

Learn to listen to yourself

Understanding your limit allows you to overcome it without forcing. Avoiding forcing means not stubbornly pushing yourself beyond your limits. Athletic and sporting work must be suitable for one's physical condition, take into account previous injuries and be aimed at the well-being of the muscle-joint condition. The body changes from day to day and if you realize that in some days the muscles remain contracted and rigid, you should know what to ask your body on that particular day. For example, if in the day before training we slept little or we succumbed to overeating at the table, it becomes very important to rebalance and then subsequently dedicate ourselves to training.

Category: Welfare
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