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What is a muscle strain?

A muscle strain or pulled muscle is damage to the upper back muscle due to over-stretching of the muscle tissue. The damage involves tearing the muscle tissue and commonly occurs from lifting something that is too heavy in a wrong position.

Our physiotherpaist teaching a number of effective back stretches.Above: Our physiotherpaist teaching a number of effective back stretches.

What causes a muscle strain?

Cause of a muscle strain include:
  • Poor posture at a computer on a regular basis.
  • Overload on the back by lifting heavy loads
  • Poor lifting techniques
  • Unexpected twisting of back muscles
  • Bending in a wrong way

One of our physiotherapist performing manual therapy techniques to help ease muscle strain.Above: One of our physiotherapist performing manual therapy techniques to help ease muscle strain.

What are the effects/symptoms of a muscle strain?

The symptoms may vary from mild to severe depending on the severity of the damage.

The main symptom of a muscle strain is pain specific to the place the strain occurred. It is common that the pain sometimes radiates to surrounding muscles. People often experience stiffness of the muscle and muscle spasm

Diagnosis of a muscle strain

Diagnosis of a muscle strain can be confirmed by a physiotherapist or doctor, who will conduct a thorough subjective and objective assessment.

Physiotherapy for a muscle strain

At Manchester Physio, physiotherapy treatment will accelerate healing so that you can return to work and your hobbies as quickly as possible.

Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will initially assess your current symptoms, range of movement, muscles strength and function in order to develop a progressive rehabilitation program.

The initial approach to treating a muscle strain is to support and protect the muscles, help them to loosen up and lessen the pain and minimise any inflammation.

Physiotherapy treatment for a muscle strain may include:
  • Ice therapy to reduce swelling
  • Gentle range of movement exercises to prevent the back from stiffening up
  • Ultrasound to promote healing
  • After this initial period, heat therapy and soft tissue massage will increase circulation and relax muscle spasms
  • Individualised exercise program, for the abdominal or 'core' muscles and back muscles to increase strength and stability of the spine.

Trigger point can help reduce muscle strain.Above: Trigger point can help reduce muscle strain.

Once pain and swelling has reduced your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will guide you through an exercise program specific to your needs and lifestyle.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will hasten the recovery process and get you back to the activities you enjoy as soon as possible.

If you would like more information about physiotherapy for muscle strain, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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