A strain occurs when you stretch the muscle or tendon past its normal position, causing overstretch or a partial or complete tear in muscle fibres. Bending, twisting, rotating or fast movement beyond range can cause a sprain or strain. A strain is when you injure the tissue fibres that connect the muscle to the bone whereas a sprain is when you injure the tissue fibres that connect two bones together. Both can cause redness, bruising, muscle spasms and weakness, limited motion and swelling.
Risk factors include age, as aging causes degeneration of the tissue and cartilage, which wears over time, activity level and location of the injury, which affects the severity of the muscle injury.
Treatment involves rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), strengthening exercises, stretching, physiotherapy (including massaging or foam rolling), diet change and supplements, which can be helpful in combination. On occasion, severe strains may need surgical repair, but most can be treated at home.
Tips to avoid strains/sprains
- Warm up and cool down
- Exercise should include strengthening, compound and flexibility exercises
- Focus on proper form and posture
- Stop exercising when you feel pain
- Stretch frequently
- Have rest days
- Have a good night's sleep
- Vegetables, fruits
- Quality protein (no processed meats)
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats (no unsaturated fats)
- Plenty of water
- Anti-inflammatory foods
- Nutrient dense foods
- Junk foods
- Sugary foods
- Processed white flour products
- Dairy products
All of these can cause inflammation, worsen symptoms and increase your risk of straining/spraining a muscle.
- Vitamin D and Magnesium contribute to normal muscle function
- Collagen is a component of tendons, ligaments and muscle tissue. Recent studies have shown collagen supplementation may promote synthesis of muscle tissue and may stimulate muscle growth after exercise
- Bromelain is a protein digesting enzyme derived from pineapple. Typically used to reduce inflammation and swelling, it is thought to relieve swelling and inflammation in the muscles
- Studies have shown Omega-3 can help delay the onset of muscle soreness as Omega-3 contains EPA and DHA which are thought to support muscle synthesis
- Antioxidants such as Turmeric and Ginger are believed to minimise or delay the onset of muscle soreness, possibly diminishing muscle pain
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two compounds found in your cartilage. They encourage the body to produce cartilage and maintain flexibility.
- Stem cells start producing Hyaluronic Acid when muscles are damaged. After enough hyaluronic acid is produced, the muscle stem cells are signalled to ‘wake up’, helping produce new muscle cells
- HealthAid Osteoflex & Omega3 and Osteoflex Plus contain a combination of the ingredients mentioned above such as glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and turmeric
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.
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- Muscle strains - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
- Muscle Strain Injury: Diagnosis and Treatment : JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (lww.com)
- Hyaluranic acid, a naturally occurring compound, awakens stem cells to repair damaged muscle -- ScienceDaily
- Health Benefits of Collagen: Pros, Cons, and More (healthline.com)
- SI Joint Pain and Sacroiliitis: Natural Treatments and Exercises - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Calf Exercises & Tips to Prevent Pain, Injury & Muscle Imbalance (draxe.com)
- Torn Meniscus Symptoms, Causes & Natural Treatments - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Sprains and Strains Symptoms, Causes & Treatment - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Muscle Recovery Do's and Don'ts for Optimal Fitness - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
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