How to Treat a Muscle Strain Quickly

December 27, 2022

How to Treat a Muscle Strain QuicklyA muscle strain or “pull muscle”  is described as an excessive stretch or tear within the muscle tissue.


In this blog post, we’ll cover

• What is a muscle strain

• How muscle strains are caused

• How to treat a muscle strain

• and more


What is a muscle strain?

According to Hospital for Special Surgery:

The severity of a strain can be assessed by how much strength and range of motion a person loses, and this can also provide an idea as to how long it will take to recover. Muscle strains can be categorized into three grades, based on severity:


Grade 1: Mild damage to individual muscle fibers (less than 5% of fibers) that causes minimal loss of strength and motion.

Grade 2: More extensive damage with more muscle fibers involved. However, the muscle is not completely ruptured. These injuries present with significant loss of strength and motion. These injuries may require two to three months before a complete return to athletics.

Grade 3: Complete rupture of a muscle or tendon. These can present with a palpable defect in the muscle or tendon. However, swelling in the area may make this difficult to appreciate. These injuries sometimes require surgery to reattach the damaged muscle and tendon.”


What causes a muscle strain?

There are three primary causes of a muscle strain:

  1. Doing too much too soon such (e.g. improperly ramping up your running mileage or weights at the gym)
  2. Improper form with exercise
  3. Performing explosive movements (e.g. sprinting or jumping


What are the most common muscle strains

Strains are most commonly suffered in muscles that are considered prime movers or synergistic movers.

These muscles are in charge of moving a particular joint, such as your hamstring and lower calf (soleus) muscles, when you are sprinting.

Furthermore, muscles like your lower back can easily become strained due to deconditioning, overuse and/or improper lifting mechanics.


Other strained muscles we commonly treat at Tangelo include:

• Quads (front of thigh)

• Mid back and neck

• Shoulder, biceps and forearms


How we treat muscle strains at Tangelo

chiropractic care for knee painAt Tangelo, we take a two-pronged approach to treating each grade of a muscle strain: treating the site of the pain and correcting the source of the pain. For example, let’s go back to the aforementioned hamstring strain when you are sprinting.

When you sprint, your gluteus maximus is the primary muscle in a change of hip extension. Synergistically (hence the name), the hamstring assists the glute to extend the leg behind you to strive momentum forward. However, in many cases, when the glute is underactive, the hamstring is forced to compensate and make up for the strength that your glute muscle lacks. This could lead to overuse of the hamstring and an imminent injury.

Our doctors of chiropractic work to treat the site of the pain and promote healing through industry-leading modalities such as Active Release Techniques, cupping, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), and our team of rehab specialists works to restore proper movement patterns.

In the case of a hamstring strain from sprinting – your rehab specialist will work with you to train healthy muscle firing patterns in and around the hip, reducing the dominance of the hamstring and redirecting the strength back into the glutes.


How you can prevent muscle strains

One of the best predictors of a future injury is a previous injury. If you’ve sustained a strain, sprain, or another injury in the past, your body will compensate, and your movement patterns will be altered. In the short term, this is a good thing as it deloads the afflicted area and allows the tissue to heal. However, in the long term, this can be detrimental because you’ve created an imbalance in your movement patterns. This could lead to reinjury and even new injuries down the road.

Therefore, your best approach to preventing injuries in the future is getting a thorough and comprehensive movement evaluation from a trained healthcare professional. They will be to identify the weak link that is making the whole chain vulnerable.


How to connect with Tangelo

If you suspect you are dealing with a muscle strain, the best thing to do is make an appointment with a healthcare professional. If you live in the Seattle area, we have two state-of-the-art clinics to serve you. If you live in Portland, our gorgeous clinic located in the neighborhood of Slabtown will give you the physical competence and emotional confidence you deserve.

Tangelo has been helping people get out of pain and return back to a life free of limitations since 2010. Your only regret will be that you didn’t contact us sooner.

Book an appointment now! 



“Over the last 6 weeks I have been working to improve a right rotator cuff strain with the amazing people at Tangelo. I am so impressed with everyone there and I’m excited to continue working with them to get my shoulder back to normal.  Thank you for working with me and pushing me to get stronger.” – Troy F. // Seattle, WA