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Muscle Injuries.

What are muscle injuries and tears?

In general, muscle injuries are quite frequent injuries in sports practice, when this is done without proper advice. However, these pathologies are of lesser importance compared to osteoarticular injuries, which is why they have always received less attention.
Muscle injury is caused by forced contraction or elongation of the muscle which causes muscle fibers to break. Depending on their intensity and degree, we can speak of simple stiffness to complete muscle ruptures.

Characteristic features of muscle injury.

According to Dr. Fernandez, a traumatologist at the CEMTRO Clinic, it is essential to know three factors to understand and treat a muscle injury: the injured muscle, the area of the muscle affected and the degree of injury.
Let’s look at it in parts:

  1. Injured muscle: the most frequently injured muscles are the biarticular muscles (muscles that join and mobilize two joints): triceps suralis, calf and soleus; hamstring muscles (known as hamstrings); quadriceps; biceps brachii. The adductor muscle, although it only involves one joint, is also a frequently injured muscle, especially in football players. We will develop this one in the next blog post.
  2. Location: It is also important to know the location of the muscle damage because its recovery and prognosis depend on it. The injury can occur at the level of the:
  • Muscular belly. It is the area with the greatest muscular thickness
  • Myofascial junction. This is the junctional area between two muscles, or between several muscle bundles, where haematomas and fibrosis often form after ruptures.
  • Myotendinous junction. The transition zone between muscle and tendon, where muscle injury most often occurs.

3. Grade: The grade refers to the number of muscle fibers damaged. Most classifications distinguish between four grades:

  • Grade 0. Structural damage to the muscle fibre occurs, producing oedema in the area but no haematoma. Colloquially it corresponds to the so-called stiffness, cramps, contractures and overloads. The recovery time is a few days and does not require specific treatment.
  • Grade 1. Small fibre rupture, with minimal bruising. It is usually called a “fibrillar micro-tear”, and recovers in 1-2 weeks.
  • Grade 2. It is the typical muscle fiber rupture that is accompanied by a hematoma and immediate functional impotence after the injury. It recovers in 3-4 weeks.
  • Grade 3. It is the complete rupture of the muscle in its muscle belly or in the myotendinous area. Recovery time is never less than 6-8 weeks.

Treatment of muscle injury.

Treatment will depend on the classification of the injury according to the above factors. In general, we can affirm that for a good treatment it is essential to respect the biological healing times, that is to say, to go hand in hand with the mechanisms of our organism in the healing of the injury. A good physiotherapy treatment and a good readaptation of the sporting gesture will facilitate the success of the treatment and will avoid the so feared relapses of the muscular injuries.
Occasionally, in grade 3 muscle injuries, i.e. complete muscle ruptures, or in tendon disinsertions of injured muscles, surgical treatmentmay be necessary.

Source @clinicaCEMTRO

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