3 Grades of Strains

3 Grades of Strains

If you’re an active person who uses your muscles during the workday, or you’re an athlete who plays sports, you’re more prone to a musculoskeletal injury than someone who’s sedentary. One common injury is a strain, which means you have some damage to a muscle or tendon. 

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, pain management specialist, and regenerative medicine specialist at Urgently Ortho often see patients with muscle strains. Because we have advanced imaging equipment on the premises at our office in Scottsdale, Arizona, we provide prompt diagnosis so your treatment isn’t delayed by waiting on tests. We offer sports medicine treatment that gets you back on the field safely and as quickly as possible. 

Symptoms of a strain 

Your tendons are the tough tissue that join your muscles to your bones. If you’ve strained a muscle or tendon, you may experience any of the following symptoms

Treatment for a strain depends on its severity. Your muscle or tendon could simply be stretched, which would be a minor strain. More severe strains involve a tear. The tear could be in the muscle, where the muscle and tendon meet, or in the tendon. 

Treating a strain 

Many strains can be treated conservatively using the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)  method along with medication, injections as appropriate, and physical therapy. In addition, our practice offers regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma that can help speed your healing by harnessing your body’s healing power. 

If your strain is severe, your physician may place the injury in a cast, or he may tell you that surgery is the best option for a recovery that will allow you to regain function.  

Grades of a strain 

Orthopedic practice has divided strains into three categories, or grades. Following are explanations of the three grades of strains

Grade 1 strain

A Grade 1 strain is a minor strain. You’ve overstretched a muscle or tendon and may have the beginning of a tear. You may feel stiff, but you can still use the arm, leg, or other part of your body that has sustained the injury. 

Pain can usually be handled with over-the-counter medication, along with standard treatment for strains, using the RICE method for the first several days. If the injury is to a muscle, use heat to increase blood circulation after the first few days and initial swelling has receded. 

Your physician likely wants you to rest the area for at least two to three weeks before returning to play if you’re an athlete. 

Grade 2 strain 

A Grade 2 strain means you have a tear in a muscle or tendon, but it’s not totally ruptured. Your use of the affected body part is significantly affected; you lose much of your range of motion and experience considerable weakness. You won’t be able to perform well if you’re an athlete. You need time out to rest and recuperate. You may need two to three months to return to the field if you play a sport. 

Grade 3 strain 

If you have a grade 3 strain, you have a complete tear in your muscle or tendon. The muscle may be torn into two pieces, or the muscle and tendon may have come apart, and the gap has filled with blood. You’ll have bruising and swelling. Your doctor may place the area in a cast. You may need surgery to reattach the muscle or tendon; recovery may take three to six months. 

Call Urgently Ortho today if you’ve injured yourself or have unexplained musculoskeletal pain. We offer state-of-the-art treatments for your musculoskeletal injury or condition.    

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