The most popular injury
Author : Sheldon Scipio, Director of Caribbean Business at Alobi, and Sports Trainer/Physio
Yes. It is possible to ‘pull’ almost any muscle in your body. While warming up before and after training and a game does help to prevent this injury, you can still get this injury through over exertion, over use, muscle fatigue or through a fall. It is important to work to get your ability to a point when exercising, and not to attempt too much too quickly to try an avoid this injury, I have seen players get pulled muscles more from muscle fatigue (not enough rest) more than any other reason at the end of practices. The injury coming from cumulative training sessions over a period of time, not just one session. Work with a plan of getting stronger daily to avoid this injury as it may take weeks depending on the severity to return to the game, and do not avoid rest periods.
What is a pulled muscle?
When a muscle is ‘pulled’, this term refers to the over stretching of the muscle fibres which can lead to tearing to various degrees,. When the muscle is subject to a sudden force which is severe or sudden, and, the fibres within the muscle are not prepared or able to deal with this action, and consequently they may stretch and tear. This gives rise to the terms ‘muscle pull’ (some torn fibres) and ‘muscle tear’ (many or all of the muscle fibres torn).
How is a pulled muscle treated?
- Rest – The muscle needs time to heal, and in order to assist the healing process it is important to rest the injured muscle. Too many immediately resort to massaging, this aggravates the injury, especially when done to soon, and not by a professional.
- Ice – Ice will help to relax the muscle and can be a soothing treatment. Ice will also help to relieve any muscle spasm caused by the injury. Use the ice for 20 minutes at a time, with a 20 minute rest in between.
- REST IS GOOD!
How do I begin to use the muscle again?
As soon as movement is bearable, (note there is no special time being given, this depends on the severity of the injury, size of muscle.) one should begin to gently stretch the muscle, preferable under the supervision of the trainer. This is very important to re-lengthen the muscle fibres in order to prevent future injury, if the muscle fibres are not stretched out to optimum length, they will heal in a shortened state and will therefore pull again when exercise is resumed as they will now be mismatched against opposing muscles that they work in tandem with. Massage is helpful at this stage
When can I begin to exercise the muscle?
As a general rule, when the muscle can be stretched without any discomfort or pain it is safe to begin exercising the muscle again. The time frame for this healing can vary depending on the muscle concerned and the severity of the muscle pull. This muscle must now build up strength and endurance before playing competitively can begin to prevent re-injury, so this is not a one or 2 week process, its best to be honest to the Training staff that risk further injury. And best the Training staff err on the side of caution.
Author – Sheldon Scipio
Twitter – @pharoahson
Instagram – @SheldonScipio
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