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How Physiotherapy Can Help You Recover From Muscle Strains

What exactly is a muscle strain?

A muscle strain happens when your muscles or their tendons encounter more stress than what they can manage. This stress can come from too forceful of a contraction or the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits. This can cause the muscle fibers to sustain damage and even tear due to the stress or tension.

What are the signs and symptoms of a muscle strain?

Muscle strain symptoms can vary greatly depending on the muscles affected and the degree or severity of the injury. Common symptoms include:

  • Localized muscle pain and sometimes referred pain

  • Localized muscle tenderness

  • Muscle spasms

  • Muscle tightness

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Weakness or inability to move the muscle

Where are the common locations for muscle strains?

Any muscle in your body is subject to strains but some occur more often than others. The most common muscle strains in the upper body include the biceps (located at the front of the shoulder) and the rotator cuff (surrounding the shoulder). The most common muscle strains in the lower body occur with the hamstrings, quadriceps, calf and groin muscles.

How does physiotherapy help treat the injury?

Undergoing rehabilitation with a professional physiotherapist after sustaining a muscle strain will help address both short- and long-term concerns. It can enable muscles to heal more effectively and prevent strains from occurring in the future.

Upon first visit, a physiotherapist will begin their assessment by gaining background knowledge on why, how and when injury occurred.

Afterward, a physical examination will take place which will evaluate the extent of the muscle injury. Following this thorough assessment, the physiotherapist will create a treatment plan that will address the appropriate stage of your specific injury as well as both short-term and long-term recovery goals. The rehabilitation process also includes education and suggestions to prevent recurrent and future injuries.

Physiotherapists choose, as indicated by the specific injury, from a variety of different methods of treatment to treat the injured muscle. These methods may include: education, exercise prescription, manual therapy, modalities (heat, cold, ultrasound, electrical current, acupuncture), and taping.

To schedule a visit to see one of our physiotherapy professionals please give our head office a call at 1-204-325-8555 or email at


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