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The Dangers of Ignoring a Pulled Muscle

The Dangers of Ignoring a Pulled Muscle

Pulled muscles are such a common injury that it’s tempting to ignore the pain and go on with life, believing the problem will improve. But that can be a risky decision, especially if you want to maintain enough muscle strength to remain engaged in athletic activities.

Without proper treatment, a pulled muscle won’t fully heal. Instead, you’ll end up with permanent weakness and the risk of reinjuring the same muscle, not to mention the possibility of chronic pain.

When you need help healing or getting relief from the pain of a pulled muscle, you can turn to the team at Florida Pain Medicine. As experts in pain medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation, they offer an array of advanced treatments that have helped many patients avoid the long-term consequences of ignoring a pulled muscle.

What you should know about pulled muscles

Pulled muscles, also called muscle strains, occur when you overstretch or tear a muscle or tendon. You might sustain a minor tear or have a completely ruptured muscle.

Daily activities like twisting, bending, and lifting can lead to a pulled muscle, especially when you make a sudden movement. However, muscle strains are most often caused by sports injuries.

Your risk of pulling a muscle is highest if you:

Engage in explosive activities

Sudden, explosive movements demand so much muscle force that they can cause a pulled muscle. Jumping, leaping, sprinting, throwing, kicking, and cutting are just a few examples of explosive activities requiring quick bursts of muscle activity.

Increase your activity

Your risk of pulling a muscle increases when you start a new activity, suddenly change activities, or make your usual workout longer or more intense.

Overuse your muscles

Microscopic tears develop in your muscles when you exercise. These tears are normal and usually heal without causing problems. But if you repeat the same activity without taking time to rest, the tiny tears don’t heal. Instead, they keep enlarging and can turn into a major tear.

Dangers of ignoring a pulled muscle

It’s never a good idea to ignore a pulled muscle and or push through the pain. Serious complications develop if you don’t take care of the strain, including:

Developing chronic pain

If you don’t take care of a pulled muscle, it can turn into a chronic pain condition. Muscle strains are notorious for causing severe pain and spasms.

Progressing to a complete rupture

Ignoring a minor tear and continuing to stay active is the best way to end up with a completely ruptured muscle. The more severe the tear, the longer it takes to recover, rehabilitate, and get back into the game.

Causing permanent weakness and recurrent injuries

As your torn muscle heals, two types of tissues develop: new muscle fibers and scar tissue. Without proper treatment, you end up with more scar tissues than healthy muscle. As a result, the muscle can’t regain its normal strength, elasticity, or flexibility.

Once this permanent damage occurs, you can easily reinjure the muscle. Weakened muscles also significantly affect your athletic performance and hinder your ability to return to play.

Increasing the risk of a fracture

Healthy muscles absorb the shock that occurs when your body moves, protecting your bones from taking on more stress than they can tolerate. When your muscles are fatigued or weakened, the force goes directly into the bones.

The extra stress leads to painful stress fractures. Untreated stress fractures progress to full-blown fractures.

Injuring other soft tissues

As your body compensates for pulled and weak muscles, it places extra stress on other muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As a result, inflammation, pain, and conditions like tendonitis develop.

Healing a pulled muscle

It’s essential to rest the muscle and use treatments that reduce inflammation, like ice and compression bandages. After the swelling goes down, you can begin to rehabilitate the muscle, but you may still have too much pain to perform the exercises needed to restore muscle strength and function.

We can help you heal and rehabilitate with a range of treatments customized to meet your needs. These are a few examples of the treatments available:

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections

The platelets in PRP release growth factors that accelerate healing, reduce inflammation, promote tissue regeneration, and trigger new blood vessel growth. These activities are essential for minimizing or preventing scar tissue and restoring muscle strength.

Interventional treatments

Our team specializes in interventional treatments that effectively relieve pain, the top symptom of a pulled muscle. Steroid injections reduce inflammation, while treatments like nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation stop your nerves from sending pain signals to your brain.

If you have ongoing muscle pain, don’t wait to seek help from the team at Florida Pain Center. Call the nearest office or request an appointment online to learn more about your treatment options.

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