Strains and sprains are injuries that we sustain on a daily basis while engaged in day-to-day, recreational, and competitive activities.
Strains refer to injuries that affect muscles, specifically the minor tearing of muscle fibres, which forms the basic unit that is responsible for contraction of the muscle. These injuries commonly occur when the muscle performs repeated strong contraction when it is either overloaded or fatigued and in a weakened state.
Strains can be classified as:
Mild (grade I) – mild disruption of muscle fibres manifested by mild tenderness and slight pain with active use or stretch
Moderate (grade II) – indicates moderate damage to the fibres and is manifested by tenderness, some amount of distal discolouration (or bruising) caused by damage to the small blood vessels, and some degree of pain and tenderness in the damaged muscle.
Severe (grade III) – is due to the partial or complete tearing of muscle from its associated tendon. It is manifested by severe pain, complete loss of power, swelling, bruising and a palpable "dip" or "indentation" where the muscle has been damaged. If there is a complete tear of the muscle – the only solution is surgical intervention.