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Muscle Stretch: how to recognize and treatments

Muscle Stretch: how to recognize and treatments

Muscle stretching is an indirect injury characterized by "stretching" of muscle fibers beyond normal limits. It is among the most frequent injuries in sports and significantly modifies the training and competition habits of practitioners.

Normally, muscle stretches are caused by athlete's displeasure. Using an improper training technique, muscle overloading and fatigue, improper posture during running, lower limb length difference, and decreased range of motion are the most common errors among sportsmen.

Possible Causes of Muscle Stretching

The first sign of stretching is a sudden pain during a workout and sometimes accompanied by a feeling of heaviness. click. The intensity of the pain is variable and usually causes imbalance and interruption of movement. The symptoms that can be observed later are: deficiencies of flexibility, imbalances of force between muscles of opposing actions, muscle injuries that do not improve, nutritional and hormonal disorders, infections and difficulty to coordinate movements.

There are muscle groups more prone to this type of injury, such as the posterior thigh muscles, the calf muscles, the inner musculature of the thigh and the anterior muscle of the thigh. Studies indicate the muscle-tendon junction, also known as the distal region of the muscular belly, as the main site of the lesion. Even so, it is good to make it clear that any point on the muscle is susceptible to stretching. "The first sign of stretching is a sudden pain during a sports workout and sometimes accompanied by a feeling of

The diagnosis should cover a history and appropriate clinical examination, based on complaints of localized pain, pain in isometric contraction and palpation. The ultrasound examination complements the diagnosis. Knowing and treating stretch early is very important in order to treat this muscle injury. Since the factors of production of the lesion are diverse, it is important to know the details of the patient's clinical history.

The physician should always observe the athlete's physical condition, if he or she suffered the injury at the beginning or end of the competition, warm-up, climatic conditions and the state of emotional balance, if the injured athlete was much demanded in the competition. If the professional does not take into account these factors, it is advisable that the patient seek a second opinion after the diagnosis.

The classification of stretching is important in diagnosis, since it identifies and quantifies the injured area of ​​the muscle, the phenomena resulting from this problem, severity of injury, treatment criteria, withdrawal time and prediction of sequelae. We can classify the stretches according to the size of the lesion in:

Muscle Stretch Types

Grade I

- is the stretching of a small amount of muscle fibers (lesion in less than 5% of the muscle). The pain is located at a specific point, arises during muscle contraction resistance and may disappear at rest. Edema may be present, but usually it is not noticed on physical examination. Minimal damage occurs, hemorrhage is small, resolution is rapid, and functional limitation is mild.

- Grade II

- The number of injured fibers and the severity of the lesion are higher (the lesion reaches between 5% and 50% of the muscle) . The same findings of the first degree lesion are found, but with greater intensity. It is accompanied by: pain, moderate hemorrhage, more exuberant local inflammatory process and a greater decrease of function. The treatment of the problem is slower. - Grade III

- This injury usually occurs triggering a complete rupture of the muscle or a large part of it (injury reaching more than 50% of the muscle), resulting in a severe loss of function with the presence of a palpable defect . The pain can range from moderate to very intense, caused by passive muscle contraction. The edema and hemorrhage are large. Depending on the location of the injured muscle in relation to the adjacent skin, edema, bruising and hematoma may be visible, usually located at a position distal to the injury due to the force of gravity that displaces the volume of blood produced as a result of the injury . After initial treatment in the acute phase of the injury, with ice, rest, elevation, use of anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by a medical professional, pulsatile ultrasound, microcurrent and laser, the recovery of the active movement begins, with load that does not produce pain. The inclusion of stretching exercises is essential in the recovery of the injury. Daily stretching helps to relax muscles After this sequence, functional recovery exercises are used that aim to return the athlete to the activity level before injury, restoring functional stability and movement patterns specific to the sport, minimizing the risk of further injury. The evolution of the treatment should be based on a daily evaluation of the pain, range of motion, muscle strength and the subjective sensation of the patient.

In sports activities, there is a permanent concern with the high level athlete, in the fulfillment of training planning and maintaining athletic status. Neglecting treatment often leads to relapses, with new injuries in the same muscle and that can result in sequels and long periods of withdrawal from the sport.


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