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People from all walks of life can experience muscle injuries from time to time. These injuries can be more common if you play a sport or do a heavy workout and often vary in severity. One of the more severe categories of muscle injury involves tearing. Injuries such as these should be tended to as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Below, I'll take you through some of the best methods of torn muscle treatment and how they may help you recover faster.
Experts report that many people use the terms "muscle sprain" and "muscle strain" almost interchangeably. However, this is an incorrect and confusing way of talking about two different injuries. To find the precise nature of your problem, I recommend first learning when to use each term.
A sprain occurs when a person falls or is hit in such a way that they twist the body out of its normal alignment. You've probably heard of a sprained ankle, which happens when a person catches their foot in a way that causes them to trip. This action bends the ankle out of alignment but rarely results in a torn muscle. Of course, you can sprain many other body parts, such as the wrist or hand.
A strain is what you're actually referring to if you're describing a tear. This tear can happen in the ligaments that connect bones and joints, or in a muscle or surrounding tendon tissue. Strains are common in full-contact sports or simply very active lifestyles that put a lot of pressure on the muscles.
Now that you understand the proper terminology, I can take you through some of the common signs and symptoms. Torn muscle symptoms include:
The discomfort can be mild or severe depending on the precise nature of the tear.
Medical experts give three separate categories to muscle tears based on type, and I'll go through them in this section.
Grade I strain
This is the mildest type of tear, in which only a few of the fibers are stretched or torn. The injured area will be painful but retain normal levels of strength.
Grade II strain
This level is more moderate and contains a greater number of injuries to the fibers, along with more acute pain in the torn muscle. There will be some swelling and loss of strength with injuries of this category.
Grade III strain
Doctors give this classification to muscles that experience complete tearing. These are serious injuries that cause considerable pain and swelling and often leave dents in the skin where the muscle has separated.
There are a number of ways to treat a muscle tear, typically varying based on the severity of the injury. For a mild tear, there are some useful options such as the well-known RICE treatment. Although it may not help with severe tears, it's considered the gold standard among medical experts. RICE is:
You shouldn't put weight on the affected area for at least twenty-four hours, and ideally forty-eight if possible.
In the days following the injury, put a bag of ice on the torn area for at least ten-minute intervals with thirty-minute breaks in between. I recommend wrapping the ice in something like a cloth, not placing it directly on the skin.
Wrapping the injury tightly helps to keep swelling and inflammation to a minimum.
Raising the injured area above heart level will keep blood from collecting in the affected area, reducing swelling and other complications.
The RICE method is an effective torn muscle home remedy option.
Using turmeric for torn muscles may also have beneficial effects. Some studies have shown that it may reduce pain from joint diseases or muscle strain. It is a widely studied spice although stronger evidence is needed to be certain of the efficacy of turmeric for torn muscles or as a natural herbal remedy.
There are a variety of treatment options available to you, but remember that the prognosis can differ greatly in each tear. How long recovery takes will depend on the grade of the injury and whether you treat it properly and quickly. A variety of home treatments and natural remedies are typically sufficient for any tears below grade III.
I highly recommend calling a specialist if you suffer a grade III tear as they'll be able to offer an expert diagnosis and provide surgical options that may be necessary.