Muscle injuries are one of the most common consequences of sports injuries, wrong movements or awkward measures at work. Usually these are not severe, but require a few days rest. In a few exceptional cases, however, medical interventions are necessary. Basically, muscle injuries are thus curable - the chances of success are always very high.

What are muscle injuries?

Muscle injuries are tears or other damage to the muscles. So these can be in an outline of whole bundles or individual fibers. Muscle injuries are therefore usually noticeable or even painful.

Most of the time a slight pulling goes with them. If they are cracks of whole muscle bundles, however, the muscle injuries would be associated with considerable pain. Here usually only one operation can restore the complete functionality of the musculoskeletal system.

Smaller muscle injuries, on the other hand, can be remedied with soothing ointments, baths, massages and thermal therapies. If the symptoms occur over several days, a doctor should be consulted as a precaution. He can determine if they are actually muscle injuries or even the bones and organs may be damaged.


Muscle injuries usually occur where the body is not sufficiently warmed up during sports activities. Likewise, when lifting heavy loads so-called wrong movements can lead to tilting or overstretching and thus to muscle injuries.

Not infrequently, slight damage to the muscles of the affected person are not perceived - the forest run or the football match strengthen but this and can be associated with painful consequences. Muscle injuries usually occur where many movements are required.

In a few situations, even slipping on ice-smooth paths or a misstep on the stairs brings with it such muscle injuries. Thus, every person in his life is hit several times by muscle injuries.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

Muscle injuries are sometimes associated with different levels of pain. As a rule, a drag is also noticeable. In addition, the musculoskeletal system is restricted. However, it can also cause muscle injuries that are not noticed by the person concerned. Frequently, muscle injuries occur as part of sports activities.

Muscle strain, a lighter type of muscle injury, causes unnatural muscle stretching. The muscle tension is disturbed, the muscle hardens and pain sets in. This reflexive tightening should avoid serious consequences. After a short recovery, the symptoms may regress. A torn muscle fiber causes sudden pain as nerve-leading muscle fibers rupture.

The pain character is stinging, similar to an injury caused by a knife wound. A load or movement is hardly possible. The restriction of blood circulation causes an inflammatory reaction in this area. A massive, prolonged muscle hardening occurs. The pain is convulsive. In a muscle bundle tear is often a visible bruise, as the vascular lesions are more intense.

This is due to the damage, the tearing of the muscle tissue consisting of connective tissue. A hamstring tear or muscle tear should be located exactly. They can be felt precisely. In addition, the sensation of pain is only occasionally felt in the muscle injury. In case of complications and in severe cases, resting pain over a longer period of time can lead to significant sleep disturbances.

Diagnosis & History

A large number of muscle injuries does not feel at all, because they occur without pain. Only the minimal pulling in the thigh or restrictions in the mobility are perceived.

Such muscle injuries can actually occur daily and are usually forgotten after one to two days. On the other hand, stronger muscle injuries, which are not only noticeable, but require intervention, may also appear during exercise. Most of the affected person will help themselves here with warming ointments.

If this is not enough, the specialist should be consulted. In particular, such muscle injuries, which are associated with whole or partial tears of the muscle bundles and damage to cartilage and tendons, must be treated frequently. In some cases, muscle injuries also require surgery.


Muscle injuries can cause various ailments and complications. The further course of this disease depends very much on the injury itself and its severity. As a rule, sufferers in muscle injuries primarily suffer from severe pain and thus also in everyday life.

Not infrequently this leads to restricted mobility and also to a reduced quality of life. The patients may also be dependent on the help of other people and suffer from a reduced resilience. Complications usually occur in muscle injuries, especially if the muscles continue to be stressed after the injury.

This can lead to various sequelae such as swelling or painful cramps. Pain from the muscles can also spread to other regions of the body and cause discomfort there. Resting pain often leads to sleep disorders.

The treatment of muscle injuries usually does not lead to further complications. However, the exact type of treatment depends heavily on the injury. In most cases, however, there is always a positive course of illness.

When should you go to the doctor?

Injuries of the muscles should always be clarified by a doctor, as soon as they increase in intensity, occur suddenly or persist. If they occur after a serious fall or accident, a visit to a doctor is advisable, so that the extent of the damage can be determined. In the case of minor injuries, sufficient protection for the regeneration of the symptoms is often sufficient.

After an intense physical or physical stress, there is an overuse of the muscles, which has no serious consequences. With a supply of heat, relief and often a recovery can be achieved. Medical care is not necessary in these cases.

If the musculoskeletal system is impaired, if the posture is incorrect or if there is pain, a doctor should visit. If there is a pain in the back or hypersensitivity to touch, the body needs help healing it.

Decreases the general physical capacity, it comes to an internal weakness or sports and everyday activities are no longer carried out as usual, a doctor is needed. If new bruises develop some time after the muscle injury, there are impairments that should be investigated and treated. Uncommon are rest pain, sleep disturbances and stiffening of the joints. If cramps occur, rotational movements can no longer be carried out or failure of the gripping function, a doctor's visit is advisable.

Treatment & Therapy

For the exact treatment of the muscle injuries always the knowledge is necessary, in which stage the suffering is. If a sportsman has tugged his muscles slightly before warming up in front of a football match or a jogging run, a few rest days and a supporting cream will usually suffice to remedy the pulling in the affected part of the body.

Muscle injuries, which are associated with considerable pain or still are not cured after a few days, should be left to a medical examination. Often a few sessions are sufficient to succeed in massages, electrical and thermal therapy.

If muscle injuries with cracks in the fibers or even the bundles are recognized, it must be weighed: If the patient without the affected body part is prevented from practicing for a long time, surgery is usually carried out as quickly as possible in order to be better able to repair the consequences of the muscle injuries.

Such a measure also goes hand in hand with rehabilitative sports lessons, in which mobility is promoted and the growing together of the muscle is supported. What should be done in case of muscle injury in individual cases, should decide the orthopedist.

Outlook & Forecast

For muscle injuries, the prognosis is based on the type and intensity of the injury. A muscle strain heals within four to six days. Then you can start training again. Prerequisite for a speedy recovery is a medical treatment and protection. If training continues despite strain, it can lead to a torn muscle. In a hamstring usually no major complications occur, but the recovery time is much longer. The injury heals without further discomfort within two to six weeks.

If training is started too soon, another injury can occur. In the worst case, the muscle is permanently damaged. Depending on the severity of the muscle injury, there may be permanent restrictions on the muscle's ability to move. As a result, sometimes psychological symptoms occur. In particular, athletes are heavily burdened by a muscle injury, especially if the symptoms persist over a longer period of time.

Early treatment improves the prospects. Life expectancy is not usually limited by muscle injuries. However, severe injuries can lead to circulatory problems, nerve damage and other complications that limit the quality of life.


Basically, muscle injuries caused by a lot of exercise as well as a sufficient warm-up before exercise can be avoided. In addition, should never be started at high speed in an activity. Rather, the body must slowly get used to the challenges and be allowed to warm up in parallel. Nevertheless, muscle injuries can never be completely avoided.


The good prospects for healing bring it about that after a muscle injury, those affected are fully operational again. One reason for scheduled follow-up after recovery does not exist. Sporting activities should, however, be taken up only slowly. The more extensive the therapy turned out, the longer the initial training should last.

The attending physician provides appropriate information in the context of the first-line therapy. The implementation is the responsibility of the patient. The aftercare also aims to prevent the recurrence of a disease. This occurs in tumors and other conditions through a close-meshed medical follow-up.

However, this procedure is not possible with muscle injuries. Because the causes lie in overload and violence. They occur within a few seconds and elude medical predictability. Rather, patients can prevent new muscle injuries in their everyday lives.

The recording of sports activities should be increased slowly after a long vacancy. In addition, a warm-up phase is essential for adequate muscle perfusion. Preventive measures also include wearing appropriate protective equipment in the event of a risk of injury, as is the case with rugby and other physical sports. Sports medicine mediates appropriate knowledge in the context of first-line therapy.

You can do that yourself

Muscle injuries always require medical treatment. In case of acute symptoms, the exercise should first be discontinued. Otherwise, it can lead to a strain or even a torn muscle. Then the muscle must be cooled with ice and stored up. For closed injuries, a sports ointment can be applied. A pressure bandage regulates blood circulation and prevents the injury from increasing. Particularly suitable are herbal preparations that have an analgesic and decongestant effect.

After the medical examination and treatment of the injury, protection and rest apply. The affected muscle should not be stressed for at least two to three days in order not to endanger the healing process. Also during recovery help herbal remedies like bromelain and papain. In consultation with the family doctor or a sports physician can be started after a few days slowly back to the sport. It is recommended to relax the muscle well in the beginning. However, massages should be avoided for now, as kneading and stretching can interfere with the healing process.

For major muscle injuries, a sports break of three to six weeks should be inserted. Accompanying this, the injury must be checked regularly by a doctor.

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