Muscle injuries are common for people who exercise regularly and aim to improve their health status. Not all muscle injuries are bad, such as the soreness after a gym session, run or returning to activity you haven’t done for a while. There are times though when muscle pain is not pleasant, and it results in a pain that last for longer than normal and limits your ability to exercise and move. It is these types of injuries that need expert management.
One type of injury that responds well to exercise is a hamstring strain. The hamstring muscles which help to extend the hip and bend the knee, are subject to injury during sprinting and jumping. In order for the muscle to heal properly, early mobilisation is necessary. Your physiotherapist will begin with stretching exercises once the pain is controlled, then move on to strengthening. The standing leg curl is done in the early stages. As you grow stronger, you may begin strengthening exercises with resistance. Leg curls with gym equipment or resistance band can be undertaken.
Lower back susceptible to muscle injuries
The lower back is another area of the body that is very susceptible to muscle injuries from poor body mechanics, sprained discs, nerve compression and many other causes. Physiotherapy exercises for low back pain will include stretching exercises and soft tissue mobilisation to promote flexibility and mobility. Early stretching may be as simple as lying on your back with your knees raised over a bolster; or lying on your back, both knees bent, then alternate sliding both legs down and back up. The next step is strengthening and conditioning exercises to help you return to normal activities.
Pain and tightness when you try to lift your arm sideways could mean an injury in the rotator cuff – the stabilising muscles in the shoulder. Physiotherapy will focus initially on light exercises to stretch the muscle and restore range of motion. Shoulder blade positioning exercises also help in this regard.
As the clinic director of Peak MSK Physiotherapy and SecondOpinion.Physio in Bayside Melbourne, Jayce is specialised in the treatment of back, neck, headache and TMJ (jaw) problems.