Strains, tears, cramps, contractures … If you have been practicing sports for a long time, you may have encountered the classic (and annoying) muscle trauma. Here is a short guide dedicated to sportsmen and others. Let’s start from a fundamental premise for any sportsman: the muscular system needs to be adequately prepared for training , with an appropriate warm -up in the initial phase, a recommended cool -down in the final phase and a progressive workload , to be respected from session to session.
If even one of the points listed above is missing, the risk of muscle injuries increases. Let’s see the most common traumas and the way in which it is possible to intervene.
Types of muscle trauma and remedies
Stretching is an injury linked to a limited number of muscle fibers, often caused by inadequate heating, by an excessive workload, as mentioned above, or by a sudden and abrupt movement. In the stretch , the muscle has exceeded its limit of elasticity, but has not yet incurred a real laceration . In many cases, as long as the muscle is “hot”, the pain is quite bearable; in the following hours, however, the pain gradually becomes stronger. It is necessary to rest and it would be better to investigate the extent of the damage with medical examinations.
The tear is a more serious injury, involving more muscle fibers, as a result of excessive tension to which the muscle is subjected. Tears are classified by degrees, according to the percentage of injured muscle fibers. It presents with a depression of the involved muscle and severe pain with the inability to continue the movement. We intervene by immobilizing the limb and deepening the situation with medical investigations ; the rest period will be evaluated based on the extent of the damage. In severe cases, it may be necessary to surgically suture the injured muscle.
The cramp is called a coma an involuntary contraction of the muscle, which lasts a very short time . It also appears at night, after a particularly intense workout or following forced positions maintained in sleep. It can be caused by the temperature of the environment in which you are training, by the level of external humidity, but also by an excessive effort by the athlete, or by an imbalance of mineral salts in the blood, caused by taking some particular drugs or from excessive sweating. It presents with severe localized pain, which prevents movement. The muscle feels hard and contracted. It is important to know how to intervene, performing gentle stretching movements of the affected muscle and then massaging the painful area .
While the application of ice is recommended for most traumas, to limit the leakage of fluids into the tissues and to reduce the sensation of pain, ice cold is not recommended for cramps , rather it is better to warm the affected area. also with massages.
Contracture can be the result of excessive muscle fatigue, which causes painful stiffening and occurs suddenly during a mechanical stress for which the muscle is not prepared. The intervention of a manual therapist and also the application of ointments, suggested by the specialist, will be useful to promote muscle relaxation.
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