Muscle Strain – Just What Are They?

Posted On Sep 8 2016 by

I think it is safe to assume that we all have our fair share of injury when working out in the gym. The most common of them is, perhaps, muscle strains or pulled muscles. This happens whenever you overstretched your muscles or tried to lift beyond your maximum – resulting in a tear. The primary suspects why you experience this are simply because of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of your muscle. It can occur on almost any part of the body, but the most common victims are your lower back, neck, shoulder, hamstrings, and sometimes, biceps.


Whenever you have one of these strains, it can hinder your lifting capability or your total movement. It will cause you pain, and mobility problems. Most cases are just mild-to-moderate strains and can be easily treated with ice, heat, and some anti-inflammatory medicines. However, in rare cases, severe strains are possible and will need immediate medical care.


The symptoms are fairly easy to notice and identify. The most basic symptoms are as follows:

  • Sudden muscle pain
  • Soreness
  • Uneasiness of movement
  • Muscle Swelling and Discoloration (bruising)
  • Muscles feel pressured
  • Spasms
  • Stiff Muscles
  • Weakness

A mild strain will result in a stiff but rather movable muscle – just enough for basic use. A severe strain will disallow full range of motion for your muscle. This will result in intense pain and limited movement.

Mild or moderate muscle strains can go away within days to weeks, depending on one’s recovery speed. Severe strains will take a few months to completely recover and can be used again to lift weights.


Most mild strains occur during sudden or explosive actions. These will cause small tears in your muscle, here are the common causes:

  • Ignoring warm-ups
  • Poor flexibility
  • Poor conditioning
  • Over exercise
  • Not giving time to recover
  • Exceeding limitations

Muscle strains are quite complicated as there is no concrete evidence of a major cause. Walking alone can even cause acute muscle strains.

Almost any type of activity will cause a muscle strain to occur: jumping, walking, running, lifting, throwing, and punching can cause strains. However, if done with proper posture and with warm-ups, these causes are very unlikely.

Also, studies show that strains are very common during cold weather. This is simply because your muscles are more asleep and stiff during cold temperature. Thus, it is important to always have a warm-up to avoid such injury.

Acute muscle strains are also more common in cold weather. This is because muscles are stiffer in lower temperatures. It’s important to take extra time to warm up in these conditions to prevent strains.

In some cases, muscle strains may become chronic due to repetitive movement:

  • sports like rowing, tennis, golf, or baseball
  • holding your back or neck in an awkward position for long periods of time, such as when you work at a desk
  • poor posture


To keep things clear, whenever the strain is unbearable and causing you severe pain and immobility, seeking medical help is the best way. For acute strains simple activities, rest is the best option. You simply have to avoid using which muscle hurts for a couple of days and avoid strenuous exercises. You can also put ice covered with cloth to avoid excessive swelling. If you want to have stronger and bigger muscles instantly — plus faster recovery — check out: