What Happens When I Pull a Muscle?

It’s safe to say that we’ve all either heard of or experienced a pulled muscle before, but do you know what actually happens to the body when it suffers a pulled muscle?

Our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville shares some helpful information on pulled muscles and muscle strains below, so keep reading!

What Is a Pulled Muscle?

A pulled muscle, or a muscle strain, happens when your muscle is overstretched or torn. A pulled muscle usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse or improper use of a specific muscle.

Strains can happen to any muscle on the body, but they’re most common in the lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring. Additionally, minor injuries may only overstretch a muscle or tendon, while more severe injuries may involve partial or complete tears in these tissues. We’ve listed the common signs of muscle strains below.

Signs of Muscle Strain

  • Sudden onset of pain
  • Soreness
  • Limited range of movement
  • Bruising or discoloration
  • Swelling
  • A “knotted-up” feeling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness

Are All Pulled Muscles the Same?

They aren’t. Some muscle strains can be minor, while some can be quite severe. Severe muscle strains will require medical attention from your doctor or our AFC center to get better.

Some muscle strains may even require surgery if they are severe enough. We’ve graded the types of muscle strains below.

Muscle Strain Grades

  • Grade 1—This is a mild strain, with only a few muscle fibers being stretched or torn. Although the injured muscle is tender and painful, it has normal strength.
  • Grade 2—This is a moderate strain, with a greater number of injured fibers and more severe muscle pain and tenderness. There is also mild swelling, noticeable loss of strength and sometimes a bruise.
  • Grade 3—This serious strain tears the muscle all the way through, sometimes causing a “pop” sensation as the muscle rips into two separate pieces or shears away from its specific tendon. If you experience this sensation, seek emergency medical care.

Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team today to get the care you need for your strained muscle or any number of non-emergency medical needs!