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What is a muscle strain?

Muscle strains are among the most common workplace injuries that you may sustain in Wisconsin. According to the Mayo Clinic, muscle strains occur when a muscle or tendon becomes stretched too far while in use. If you do not recognize the phrase "muscle strain," you may be more familiar with the term "pulled muscle," which describes the same condition.

While many muscle strains occur suddenly due to a forceful injury, some muscle strains are chronic, meaning that the injury develops gradually over time due to repeating the same movement over and over. 

Muscle strains can vary in severity. Mild strains involve only overstretching of a muscle or tendon, and conservative measures of ice, rest, elevation and compression may be sufficient to treat them, often within a matter of days. More severe strains can involve tearing of the muscle or tendon, which sometimes requires surgery to repair the damage, resulting in longer recovery time.

In either case, if you have strained a muscle, you may experience symptoms including swelling, muscle weakness, pain or tenderness, bruising, redness, muscle spasm and motion limitations. The severity of symptoms may indicate the seriousness of the strain.

In addition to conservative measures or surgery, other treatments may include immobilization in a splint or brace and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen. However, your doctor may advise against nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, to decrease the risk of bleeding. 

You may be able to reduce your risk of muscle strain by physically conditioning your body and performing stretching exercises prior to any strenuous work activity. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

 

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