Muscle Strains & Soft Tissue Injuries

Muscles are strained or torn when some or all of the fibers fail to cope with the demand placed upon them. They are most likely to occur in sudden acceleration, deceleration or change of direction. The most commonly affected muscles are hamstrings, gastrocnemius, quadriceps and hip adductors.

 

Classification

There are classifications grades of muscle strains:

musle-strain

Grade 1

Tear in a small number of muscle fibers and local pain with no loss of strength.

Grade 2

Tear in a significant number of muscle fibers with associated pain and swelling. Pain reproduced on muscle contraction

Grade 3

Complete tear of muscle. Usually occurs at musculotendinous junction.

 

Hamstring Muscle Sprains

Hamstrings strains usually occur during sprinting and kicking. It occurs when the hamstrings is at maximal activation and almost at the point of peak length. Generally the tears occur in the biceps femoris muscle.

Predisposing factors

  • Flexibilty
  • Strength
  • Lumbo-pelvic stability
  • Previous injury
  • Age
  • Fatigue
  • Warm-up
  • Fitness level

Management

Treatment of soft tissue strains and sprains must address issues in the acute phase straight after injury as well as the rehabilitation that follows.

  • RICE
  • Soft tissue release (48 hours following injury)
    • Massage
    • Dry needling
  • Pain free range of motion exercises

Acute Management

Rehabilitation

rehabilitation after injury must take into account all the factors involved in getting the person back to full safe activity or sport.

Soft Tissue Release

  • Massage
  • Dry needling
  • Myofascial release

Eccentric Muscle Training

Working the muscle in the lengthening phase to promote muscular control.

Concentric Muscle Training

Training the muscle in the shortening phase.

Stretching

Functional Retraining

  • Light jogging, running or sprinting
  • Small kicks, standing full kick or running kicks
  • Running, acceleration/deceleration drills
  • Agility training

Core Stability

Pelvic floor and transverse abdominis retraining