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Guide To The Symptoms Of A Muscle Strain

Muscle strains, also commonly known as pulled muscles, are injuries that occur when a muscle in the body becomes torn or overstretched. Most individuals experience muscle strains because of fatigue, improperly using their muscle, or overusing the muscle. A strain can occur in any muscle throughout the body, but they are more common in the hamstring, shoulder, neck, and lower back. The strains typically cause pain, and they can sometimes limit an individual's ability to move the affected muscle or muscles. The symptoms of a severe strain are often similar to those of a broken bone, so individuals should double-check they do not have a fracture.

Muscle strain treatment is quite simple and has many options. Many individuals may want to take pain relief medication to help with their muscle strain. One example is an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen for pain relief. Of course, rest is a common way to achieve relief, including neck strain relief. Reports show that cool compresses, including ice packs, are a common natural remedy for muscle strains. However, patients should first learn to recognize the symptoms of a muscle strain.

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Swelling And Redness

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A muscle strain is an injury, and the body will react accordingly. Not every muscle strain will present with swelling and redness, though these symptoms are a good indicator of injury. Swelling is a reaction to the injury that causes the affected body part to become enlarged. When related to a muscle strain, the swelling may be caused by either ongoing inflammation or fluid buildup. When tissues outside of the joints swell, this is called edema. If swelling occurs inside the joint, it is called effusion. 

Acute swelling is used to describe any swelling that happens in the twenty-four hours following the initial injury. Chronic swelling happens over longer periods, and it may happen with repeated minor strains. When the body senses that it has been injured, it dispatches fluid and white blood cells to the affected area. This causes the body to release chemicals and for the fluid to compress the nerves around the injury, leading to ongoing pain.

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Katherine MacAulay
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