Physiotherapy Treatments for Muscle Strains

A muscle strain occurs when any of your muscles is pulled beyond its normal capacity or torn resulting in pain, swelling, and bruising. You may also experience muscle weakness and difficulty moving the involved limb.

There are several physiotherapy treatment options for muscle strains, depending on the severity of your injury.

General Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Muscle Strains

  • Cold Therapy

    Cold therapy can be helpful in managing your pain and swelling if applied immediately after your injury. Some ways to apply cold to your muscle strain injury include using ice pack (commercial or home-made) and ice massage.

  • Heat Therapy

    Heat therapy is the application of heat to help decrease pain and relieve stiffness. It may also help hasten healing of injured muscle tissues. Common heat applications include
    • Hot compress
    • Hot moist pack (HMP)
    • Ultrasound

    In most cases, heat application is avoided during the first two to three days following an injury, wherein swelling is still present. Your physiotherapist will be able to determine the right time to apply heat on your injured muscle.

  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator

    A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator or TENS unit is a small battery-operated device that sends small electrical impulses to the skin via electrodes. Use of the TENS unit may help relieve muscle pain.

  • Physiotherapy Exercises

    Performing exercises is an important part of your muscle strain physiotherapy rehabilitation. Your physiotherapist will teach you several exercises that can help you improve or maintain your flexibility and muscle strength.

    The type of exercises that you will perform will be determined by your personal physiotherapist. Exercises that you will perform may include:
    • Range of motion exercises
    • Stretching exercises
    • General conditioning exercises
    • Progressive strengthening exercises

Severe cases of muscle strain, such as that of a torn muscle should be examined by your doctor. Surgery may be necessary to repair the torn muscle/s. Your doctor may recommend you to undergo physiotherapy rehabilitation after your surgery.

Your physiotherapist will determine the best physiotherapy treatment approach for your muscle strain. The main goal of your rehabilitation is to return you to your usual activities as fast and safely possible.

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