Physiotherapy for Muscle Strains


Physiotherapy can help with your muscle strain. Muscle strains can happen when any of your muscles is stretched or torn. It can be the result of overstretching, overexertion or because of an overuse injury.

Common sites of muscle strains include the
  • Calf muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back
  • Shoulder and arm muscles

Physiotherapy for Muscle Strains

During your first visit to your physiotherapist (PT), he or she will likely ask about your activity that led to your injury. Your therapist will also ask about previous injuries and past medical history. Your PT will conduct a thorough physical examination and evaluation to look for the actual cause of your symptoms. You will also be asked about your goals.

Your physiotherapist will then create a comprehensive treatment plan that will address your specific problems and goals. There are several treatment approaches for muscle strain, which may include

  • Ice or heat

    If you have pain and swelling, your physiotherapist will apply an ice pack for 20 minutes to help reduce your swelling and pain. Heat such as a hot moist pack will be used only when your swelling and pain has already subsided. Heat application helps soften muscles and increase blood flow to your injured muscle.

  • Electrotherapeutic modalities

    Electrotherapeutic modalities such as an ultrasound or TENS device may be used. An ultrasound is an apparatus that uses sound waves to heat up deeper tissues and aid in healing. TENS, which is the acronym for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, is a small device that produces low currents, which is transmitted to your skin via electrodes. TENS can help decrease your pain for a short time.

  • Soft tissue mobilization

    Soft tissue mobilization, or massage, can help relieve muscle spasms or tight muscles.

  • Manual or self-stretching

    Muscle tightness can happen after prolonged immobilization or non-use of muscles, which can also affect your ability to move your joint at full range. Stretching can help lengthen those tight muscles and increase your flexibility and range of motion. Stretching may be manually done by your physiotherapist or you will be taught how to do self-stretching.

  • Strengthening exercises

    Muscle weakness tend to happen if you do not move your limbs or contract your muscles for a long time. Strengthening your muscles can help you get back to your previous activities and can help prevent future injuries. Exercises are given according to your level of fitness and specific muscles affected.

  • Patient education

    Your physiotherapist will talk to you about your particular problem, what precautions to observe, and provide you with injury prevention tips. He or she may also discuss with you about possible modification of your home or workplace activities.
Your physiotherapist may also provide you with other treatments that are appropriate for your particular problem. This may include
  • Bandaging
  • Taping
  • Recommending a walking device, such as a walker or crutches
  • Gait (walking) training
  • Recommending use of brace
  • Postural training
  • Activity modification

You may also be given a written instruction on how you can manage your symptoms at home. This may also include a home exercise program that you can do when you get home to help speed up your recovery. Whatever the type of muscle strain you have or whether you have undergone surgery for your injury, physiotherapy can help. Physiotherapy will help you get back to your usual activities or highest possible function as fast and as safely possible.

Muscle Strains

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