Whether it’s a result of moving furniture, playing a game of football, or some other event, we’ve all suffered from a pulled muscle. Although these types of injuries are not uncommon, they can still be very painful and require a long recovery. At Vital Wellness Center, we care for patients with pulled muscles on a regular basis. Our chiropractor, Dr. Foss, has developed the following guide to help current and future patients learn about this condition and what pulled muscle chiropractic care can do to help the recovery process.
What is a Pulled Muscle?
Who hasn’t experienced that all-too-familiar twinge of discomfort while bending over to tend to the garden or reaching up high for an item on the top shelf? When a muscle is stretched beyond its capacity, a pulled muscle can occur. As a result, the muscle suffers microscopic tears that result in pain and dysfunction. The more accurate medical term for this issue is called a muscle strain. In addition to the muscle, a tendon may also become strained, which can intensify the symptoms.
Accidents or abrupt movements are common causes of muscle and tendon strains. Lifting heavy objects and car accidents are two examples of this. Overuse or repetitive movement can also cause muscle strains. Excessive exercise or sporting activities, playing a musical instrument, or regularly lifting heavy objects for prolonged periods are events that fall into this category.
The Difference Between Muscle Strains and Sprains
Although they are often used synonymously, sprains and strains are actually two mutually exclusive terms. The distinguishing factor between the two is the motion involved. Sprains often occur when a joint is twisted in the opposite direction of how it normally moves, causing injury to the ligament. The most common sprains we see at Vital Wellness Center are those of the wrists and ankles. Because sprains typically occur during a fall, they are usually accompanied by other injuries.
A long recovery process is one characteristic that both sprains and strains have in common. It can take anywhere from one to three months to make a complete recovery from a sprain or strain. If damage to the muscle or ligament is more severe, it can take even longer to recover. Chiropractic for pulled muscle makes use of the body’s incredible healing abilities, but tissue repair takes time.
Common Causes of Pulled Muscles
Excessive use of muscles and tendons during work, sports, or other activities can damage them. Tears in these tissues can result in muscle strain. Sudden movements, working through fatigue, and failure to warm-up before exercising increase the likelihood of suffering a muscle strain.
Scar tissue is a challenging component of muscle strain treatment. Scar tissue, also known as adhesions, are produced whenever an injury occurs in the body. Adhesions can make the muscles tight and weak, which increases the likelihood of another injury in that area. Pulled muscle chiropractic care at Vital Wellness Center is focused on addressing adhesions as well as resolving pulled muscles.
Symptoms of Pulled Muscles
Pain is the most frequent symptom involving a pulled muscle. It is usually felt when the muscle is in use but can also occur while the muscle is resting. Many patients report that their pulled muscle feels warm and inflamed, and bruising can be present in the region as well.
Although the symptoms of muscle strain are common among patients, the severity can differ significantly. Some have mild symptoms with no disruption during daily activities while others have such intense pain that they have a difficult time functioning. Regardless of the severity, these are the body’s warning signs to seek immediate pulled muscle treatment. Seeking prompt therapy maximizes recovery while also reducing the risk of future injury.
How Chiropractic Helps Muscle Strains and Sprains
Sprains and strains are among the most frequent reasons why people do an internet search for a “pulled muscle chiropractor near me.” They are fed up with taking pain medication and want to find relief. Some patients are looking for less risky options after they receive surgical recommendations for deteriorating conditions.
Every muscle strain treatment is thoroughly reviewed before it is offered to our patients at Vital Wellness Center. We carefully examine all the latest research and use scientific reasoning to assess whether a therapy is safe and effective. Following are some of the chiropractic for pulled muscle therapy methods we use that provide our patients with the results they are looking for.
Specific Care We Provide for Pulled Muscles
Since we offer a variety of therapy options to our patients, Vital Wellness Center is able to address a wide range of conditions. However, before we begin any therapy, each patient receives a comprehensive physical examination. This includes an in-depth health history that explores relationships, employment history, and other topics which are frequently overlooked during a typical visit to the doctor.
Once we are familiar with a patient’s health history, we can evaluate their present condition. This is accomplished through a physical examination as well as a series of mobility and neurological tests. Scans and x-rays may also be ordered if Dr. Foss feels additional information is needed.
Once our chiropractic assessment is completed, we review all possible therapy options with each patient. When considering therapy options, we keep in mind our patient’s way of life and any health goals they may have. The carefully selected therapy methods that follow have been proven to deliver the greatest benefits to our patients seeking pulled muscle treatment.
Chiropractic adjustment is a hands-on intervention we offer at Vital Wellness Center. Dr. Foss uses specific techniques to gently restore proper alignment to the spine. Chiropractic adjustment can be used on several different areas of the body, but our work typically focuses on the spine.
The central nervous system is the primary means of communication in the body and is made up of the brain and spinal cord. Spinal adjustments enhance communication between the nerves and promote recovery of pulled muscles. Because the spinal cord is connected to all the nerves in the body, maintaining its health also supports the health of the nerves.
Injuries or even everyday activities can cause the spine to become misaligned. If this occurs, one or more spinal segments could press against the spinal cord or other nerves, impairing brain communication. When proper alignment is restored, the brain can freely communicate with the rest of the body which promotes enhanced immune function, optimal blood flow, and other components critical for overall health.
Therapeutic massage is another way we can improve blood circulation to injured muscle tissue. This technique encourages blood flow to the affected area, which soothes and warms tense, painful muscles. Massage benefits also continue after the session. Additional oxygen and nutrients necessary for healing are brought to the affected muscle because of the increase in blood flow.
Active Release Therapy
Active release therapy (ART) is a therapy specifically designed to address soft tissue, such as the tendons and muscles. ART entails thoroughly analyzing the condition, stiffness, and patterns of movement in the tissue. As soon as the problem area has been identified, strategic pressure is applied to the area while the patient performs distinct movements. This technique helps to restore optimal functioning while also reducing pain.
When to Visit Our Chiropractor for Pulled Muscles
If you’ve suffered a pulled muscle, supportive care should begin without delay. Pulled muscles are addressed using the RICE method, which is short for rest, ice, compression or wrapping the injured area to prevent swelling, and, if possible, elevating the injured muscle. If your symptoms do not significantly improve after a couple of days of self–care, please give Vital Wellness Center a call. Our chiropractor, Dr. Foss, can assist with pain relief and provide your pulled muscle the care required for proper healing.