Low Grade Muscle Tears

Have you ever experienced a twinge-like sensation during activity?

You may be feeling the symptoms of a small muscle strain. Strains are graded from mild to severe, and quite commonly in the first instance a subtle tear may not be identified by the person themselves. Following activity however, you may notice that something doesn’t quite feel right in a particular muscle. This sensation may be caused by a small muscle strain.

Sudden acceleration or deceleration activity is a common mechanism behind muscle tears. This type of movement is common in multidirectional sports such as Australian Rule Football, Soccer, Rugby, Tennis and Hockey to name a few. It is important to note however that muscle tears can also occur with everyday movement such as rushing across the road!

What Actually Happens During a Muscle Tear?

A muscle tear will occur when the load or intensity of an activity is greater than the integrity of the muscle trying to perform it. This causes the muscle to tear, bleed and swell. As a result, you are likely to feel symptoms including pain and weakness, and your function may be reduced as a result as well (eg unable to climbs stairs comfortably in the initial stages after an acute calf tear).

Are There Predisposing Factors for Sustaining a Muscle Tear?

Potential predisposing factors may include:

  • Lack of thorough warm-up
  • Muscular tightness or imbalances
  • Fatigue (physical and mental)
  • Inadequate recovery/rest times between sessions
  • Prior history of similar soft tissue injuries
  • Technique issues / biomechanics


Appropriate Management If You Think You May Have Sustained a Muscle Tear

  1. (The first 48-72 hours): Best management is rest, ice, compression and elevation. Avoid vigorous exercise in this time, applying heat or stretching the muscle as this may slow the recovery process.
  2. Visit your physio to get a correct diagnosis, and the degree of your muscle strain. Establish time frames and milestones to achieve through your rehabilitation period.
  3. Commence a rehabilitation program that will promote tissue healing to allow for the appropriate loading and recovery of your muscle.

    Appropriate management in the first instance helps prevent ongoing issues and recurrence of the injury at a future date. If we can help you or someone you know with a muscle tear, it is a simple as clicking here to book online, or call us on 0490 105 716.