How Does It Feel When You Pull a Muscle?

August 4, 2021

If you often exercise, chances are you’re going to wake up the morning after feeling sore. However, if you’re abnormally sore one day, how can you know if you’re experiencing lots of soreness or a “pulled muscle”?

Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team answers this question and provides further helpful information below, so keep reading!

What Does Pulling a Muscle Feel Like?

One of the biggest tell-tale signs that you’ve pulled a muscle is experiencing a sharp pain right after an activity where you’ve done a sudden movement that feels “wrong.” However, muscle pulls can manifest themselves differently case by case.

Another common feeling of a pulled muscle, or a muscle strain, is if you’re experiencing abnormal tenderness or the inability to effectively use the affected joint or action muscle. Other indicators include feeling a “knot” when massaging the muscle and a warm feeling on the skin where the potential strain is. We’ve listed some other common muscle strain symptoms below.

Common Muscle Strain Symptoms

  • Sudden onset of pain
  • Soreness
  • Limited range of movement
  • Bruising or discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness

What Actually Happens When I Pull a Muscle?

A pulled muscle, or a muscle strain, is the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. Most muscle strains happen for one of two reasons: either the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits or it has been forced to contract too strongly.

Strains can happen to any muscle on the body, but they’re most common in the lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh. Most muscle strains can be treated at home, so if you experience this sensation, try some of the below-mentioned home remedies to provide some relief.

Home Remedies for a Pulled Muscle

  • Rest. Even if your muscle strain is fairly minor, you should avoid physical activity for at least 24 hours.
  • Ice. As soon as you feel your muscle or tendon strain, grab an ice pack. Apply ice for 15–20 minutes every two to three hours, and follow this routine for the first few days after your injury.
  • Compression. Compressing your strained muscle reduces the swelling.
  • Elevation. Elevating your injury above the level of your heart will help to reduce the pain and swelling. If your injury has happened to your back, keep it level and maintain proper posture as much as you can to encourage proper healing.

Have the home remedies for your muscle strain not helped? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team today to get the treatment you need to feel better!

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