If you are struggling with muscle pains associated with a sports injury or with over-training, then you’ve probably found yourself feeling incredibly frustrated and wondering how long it will be before the pain will go away.
Muscle pain that is just cramp/stiffness or soreness from training hard, where no damage is done, will go away quite quickly. Cramp usually clears up as soon as you stop what you’re doing. Delayed onset muscle soreness will go away in a couple of days. Serious trains and sprains, however, are different and can take a long time to heal.
Strains and sprains can happen to any muscle
But they tend to occur more often to the lower back, the shoulder, the neck and the hamstrings, because these muscles are engged so much and get moved in strange ways.
Strains and sprains can limit your range of motion, and make it harder for you to move the affected muscle groups. A mild to moderate strain can usually be treated at home using ice, heat or an anti-inflammatory. A severe strain might not heal by itself and may need physical therapy, or other medical intervention.
Muscle strains will usually manifest themselves in the form of a sudden, serious pain, and some soreness, with limited range of motion, bruising, discoloration, swelling, spasms or stiffness. You may find yourself feeling weak and stuff, but you should be able to move the muscle. If you find that the muscle doesn’t want to move at all then this means that it may be a severe strain.
A mild or moderate injury will typically go away in a matter of a couple of weeks. A severe strain could take months to repair.
Usually, muscle strains are associated with some sort of traumatic event –
A slip, a fall, a mistake in a contact sport, or a fatigue related accident could cause a muscle strain. They are more likely to happen in cold weather, but they can happen at any time. Know more on our site .
Sometimes muscle strains occur because of repetitive motion. Someone may suffer from a strain because they sit at a desk with poor posture, or work on an assembly line and do the same motion day in, day out. These kinds of strains can be minimised by using proper posture and having an ergonomic working area. Young athletes that specialise in one sport are more likely to suffer from this kind of strain, because they will be performing the same actions over and over again – whether that is throwing a tennis serve, pitching a baseball, shooting for a takedown, or swimming with a certain stroke – it all mounts up and it all can do damage. Even judoka are at risk of injury from performing turn-ins repeatedly to the same side, instead of training the motion in both right and left stance.
As an athlete or a coach it is important that you practice responsibly, and try to do what you can to minimise the risk of suffering from muscular injuries. Read more about pain patch .