Muscle Strain





At the Backbone we see various degrees of muscle damage. From minor strains to severe/ complete tears. Muscle damage occurs as a result of too much pressure/tension being exerted on the muscles.

Possible causes of a muscle strain or tear are heavy lifting or sudden lifting/movement, sports activity or while performing work tasks.



Pain Level: Tenderness, mild pain on using the muscle or when muscle is touched.
Visual: Possible redness
Other: You should be able to move normally and carry on with your usual activities.


Pain level: Mild/Severe when using the muscle.
Visual: Possible bruising and redness. Some swelling over the affected area.
Other: Reduced strength in the affected muscle, which may effect your usual activities.


Pain level: Severe pain (even at rest)
Visual: Bruising, redness and definite inflammation
Other: You may feel a popping sensation as the injury happens. Loss of strength in the affected muscle. You won’t be able to carry on with your usual activities.


Self Help

The PRICE formula can help:

Protection: Remove constrictive clothing or jewelry
Rest: Rest the involved muscle and avoid activities that put further pressure on it. Rest for 2-3 days and then SLOWLY introduce movement to the effected muscle.
Ice: We recommend to use an ice pack or a pack of frozen peas does the job! Wrap in a cloth (never apply ice packs or ice directly to skin as can cause skin damage). 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for a few hours after injury. This will help reduce inflammation.
Compression: Compress the effected area using a bandage to support it and reduce the inflammation.
Elevation: This also decreases swelling. Ideally, elevate the injured area above the level of your heart. Keep it supported whilst elevated and do this until the swelling reduces.

In my experience at The Backbone, in most cases, most individuals we see tend to have pre-existing issues with muscles (either tight and shortened or weakened and over-stretched), which leave them vulnerable to damage.

The most common injury I tend to see at The Backbone is a patient complaining that they sneezed, or stood from sitting, or just woke up and their back/muscle went into spasm. This is a huge indication of pre-existing damage or weakness in the body. One of my favorite quotes I use to explain this is ‘The straw that broke the camels back’. The cough, sneeze, movement etc is merely that ‘last straw’ and on investigation I tend to find that the patient has usually been putting off an ache that they hoped would ‘Go by itself’.

The lesson in this is prevention is better then cure. If you are suffering an ache, please save yourself time, discomfort and money and get some treatment! A one-off treatment with slight pain may be all it needs to prevent you suffering severe pain which effects your daily activities and leave you needing a course of treatment.

We have many patients who attend The Backbone for a health check treatment to help them maintain a healthy, functional body.

For more information on what a 'Backbone Health Check' consists of, email us at