Muscle pulls are usually classified as Grade 1, 2, 3 or chronic,based on the following signs.
You have overstretched the muscle fibers, resulting in some minor tears. This can result in:
- tightness in the area of the strained muscle
- mild to moderate discomfort when performing movements that stretch the strained muscle fibers
- minor swelling or inflammation
You have partially torn some muscle fibers, resulting in the following symptoms.
- twinges of pain during activity, especially against resistance
- visible swelling and pressure, with the possibility of bruising
- weakness in the affected muscle
You have fully torn or ruptured some muscle fibers. You may experience:
- significantly diminished motor function, making motions that use the affected muscles difficult or not possible
- severe pain when contracting the muscles, and a high level of background pain
- visible and immediate swelling, with the possibility of bruising
In addition to the three grades of injury, there is also the category of chronic. A chronic injury is one that is persistent and recurring and is identified by the following symptoms:
- You experience stiffness and soreness for over one month
- Your bruising and swelling is gone, but your flexibility is limited and it’s hard to work your muscles at 100 percent.
If you have previously had a strain and did not allow the muscles to heal completely before returning to your normal activities and exercise, your chance of developing a chronic strain are greatly increased. Often, in these instances, because of improper recovery the muscle develops scar tissue that inhibits normal muscle function.