You started a new exercise program or maybe just a new exercise, push yourself hard, then the next day something doesn’t feel pain when you lift your leg. Now you are left thinking “Did hurt myself?” “Does a strained muscle hurt to touch?” “What do I do now?”...
These are questions my family and friends ask me. This is what I tell them.
Yes a strained muscle hurts to touch. BUT that doesn’t mean you need to run to your primary care or a surgeon for medications, MRIs, XRays, injections or surgery.
Let’s take a small step back and look at what it means to have a strained muscle?
We all know what it is to work long hours and under pressure to meet deadlines. We work, work, work but eventually we start to get edgy and snip with people. We need that extra cup of coffee. Eventually, when the stress gets bad enough we will have negative thoughts about everything in our life! That is the power of stress… and the importance of sufficient rest.
Our muscles have a similar reaction to stress. Sometimes we work our muscles too hard or for too long causing snippy and edginess. However, their snippy and edginess comes out as pain. After a hard workout it’s not uncommon to have sore muscles that ache to move or feel bruised when touched that is not
Everyone after a good leg workout KNOWS how uncomfortable standing up and sitting down is the next day. Which is completely normal!
However, if after the leg day workout soreness had resolved you continue to feel pain every time you lift your leg to walk that would be a sign of a muscle strain.
My friends would then point out that its painful to touch their legs but sore muscles and strained muscles can hurt to touch. So this is not a reliable way to decide if a muscle is strain ie. injured or just more sore than normal.
My advice is for my friends when they called up worried they hurt themselves are two quick tips.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald