Muscle injury: what to do?
What do you do in case of spasms, elongation, constriction or collapse?
There are three types of muscles:
- smooth muscle that contracts involuntarily, to transport substances in the body, during digestion, to contribute to the proper functioning of the urinary system, respiratory system, etc.
- heart muscle
Skeletal muscle that contracts voluntarily during physical activity.
Skeletal muscle is the engine of the human body. It consists of bundles of fibers, which are attached to the bones by tendons. Muscle fibers are also connected to the nervous system through the spinal cord. Nerve impulses to stimulate muscle contraction movements are transmitted through the long endings of nerve cells, called axons. If we cut the muscle, we notice that each muscle fiber consists of muscle cells called myofibrils, which are themselves composed of myofilaments.
Skeletal muscle is made up of 25% protein and 75% water. The most abundant muscle proteins are actin, myosin, and tropomyosin 1. Therefore, it is necessary to follow a balanced protein diet, adapted to each individual according to his physical activity. It guarantees, among other things, the regeneration of muscle cells.
The muscle can suffer more or less severe damage that can be detrimental to physical activity and sports. This damage is generally related to improper physical exertion: insufficient warm-up, excessively prolonged or violent effort, direct blow, fatigue, unbalanced diet in view of the effort, exercise despite constant pain, etc. Proper diagnosis and proper care are essential to prevent muscle injuries from occurring or, if they do occur, lasting or getting worse.
The most common muscle injuries are:
Cramp: A painful, involuntary and temporary contraction of one or more muscles. It is harmless but can reveal magnesium deficiency, dehydration or overtraining. If cramps become frequent, it is important to seek advice from your doctor because their regular occurrence can be a symptom of diseases such as diabetes, certain neurological diseases or side effects of medications 1 .
Contracture: A muscle spasm is a type of persistent spasm due to a defect in muscle relaxation activity. Cramping usually occurs after exercise and can last for a few days. Although painful and sometimes disabling, there is no muscle damage, allowing rapid muscle remission if rest is respected until the pain subsides.
Elongation: In contrast to contraction, where the muscle does not relax properly, muscle elongation relates to the muscle that has been stretched too much. In this case, there are fine muscles. Muscle recovery can take anywhere from 4 to 7 days.
Stress: Muscle strain is a more advanced level of muscle damage because it involves a group of muscle fibers. Its look is brutal and it happens with full effort. When muscle soreness exceeds 8 days after exercise, it is most likely a breakdown. Its occurrence is an essential warning signal that must be observed in order to achieve optimal remission.
Rupture: A muscle tear is the most serious muscle accident because it involves a complete tear of the muscle. Its occurrence may warrant performing an ultrasound or MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes surgery may be necessary. Along with violent pain and complete paralysis of the traumatized muscles, the formation of bruises (bruises) and the appearance of edema are noted rapidly.
The ideal is to adopt appropriate precautionary behavior to avoid injury. If the injury does occur despite everything, the main actions can be carried out. Aside from cramps or cramps, it is highly recommended to call a sports doctor at the first pain. Only a clear diagnosis and adapted follow-up allow perfect remission.
Spasticity treatment: The cramp is not dangerous and passes very quickly. You need to breathe deeply and relax as much as possible while waiting patiently for the cramp to pass.
Contracture treatment: The contracted muscle should be rested, gently massaged, and contacted with heat. Using muscle relaxants can relax the muscles and reduce pain so that it does not create a cycle of tension that does not help the muscles relax.
Breed treatment: Breed requires rest above all else. Above all, do not massage the affected muscles and prefer applying ice over heat.
Healing Stress: As a muscle ruptures, ice should be applied to reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels. Rest is necessary until the muscle has completely calmed down, and no massage or palpation should be done until the lesions have worsened. It is also recommended to elevate the affected limb and apply pressure to it with a bandage to reduce swelling of the affected area. Aspirin should be contraindicated in this case because it promotes bleeding.
Healing Tears: Rest should be absolute, and stabilization is sometimes necessary. Applying ice regularly throughout the day helps reduce inflammation and pain. Medical follow-up is necessary and no physical activity should be resumed before the complete disappearance of pain, at rest or exertion.