Is it a Muscle Strain or Something More Serious?

muscle strain

How Chiropractors Can Diagnose Muscle Strains and Much More

Muscle strain is a commonly occurring injury of the musculoskeletal system, especially in Victoria, BC, with the number of active people we have! 

Muscle strains, or pulled muscles, often occur after repetitive movements, dehydration, fatigue, not warming up properly or performing an exercise incorrectly. 

Chiropractic care, once primarily known for spinal manipulations, has become increasingly popular recently as a means of maintaining one’s overall health.

But what exactly does a chiropractor do? And how can a chiropractor help with muscle pain? 

How Chiropractors Can Help with Bone and Muscle Pain

It’s not uncommon for people to experience muscle strain or pain in their back, neck or limbs. This can be linked to anything from sitting at a desk for too long, a muscle injury, or even something more serious such as a herniated disc

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visiting a chiropractor can help alleviate these pains by employing several different treatment techniques. These treatments aim to put the spine in ideal alignment, thus reducing pressure on nerves and other sensitive structures.

By having the spine in a more aligned position, muscles can fully relax and recover. Try to visualize the human skeleton as a system of wires with muscles attached to each wire.  Whenever a strained muscle pulls on the wire (aka bone), it pulls the skeleton out of its proper alignment. A chiropractic adjustment can put the bone back into place and reset the muscle’s position to allow it to heal. 

Grades of Muscle Strains

If you are injured and think you may have strained or torn a muscle, our team at Mind Body Spine chiropractic in Victoria, BC, will do a thorough assessment and work with you to create a recovery plan. 

When it comes to muscle strains, there are 3 degrees:

  • 1st degree (mild): slight over-stretching of the muscle. Minimal pain, and some muscle fibres may be affected, but generally, the person can achieve full range of motion and only has soreness for a few days.
  • 2nd degree (moderate): more significant “over-stretching” of the muscle with some tearing of the fibres. The person will have swelling and noticeable pain at the site of injury, with a slight decrease in strength and function. 
  • 3rd degree (severe): severe tearing or rupture of the muscle, where the muscle is torn from the tendon (more common) or the muscle belly is torn in half. The person will have extreme pain, swelling and loss of function.

Depending on the severity of your muscle strain, your treatment plan will include a combination of rest, icing, rehabilitation, treatment, and homecare exercises.

Who Are Chiropractors, And What Do They Do?

Chiropractors specialize in treating disorders related to the spine, muscles, and nervous system. They have been to a minimum of seven years of post-secondary education to achieve the status of “Doctor of Chiropractic.” 

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to treat many injuries and diseases. Chiropractors use hands-on techniques and diagnostic tests to identify problems within the musculoskeletal system. They use corrective manipulation of the spine and many instrument-assisted methods to restore proper joint function and improve nerve communication throughout the body.

Chiropractors also work closely with doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and others to provide comprehensive treatment plans.

What Do Chiropractic Adjustments Treat/Manage?

A chiropractor will examine your condition and determine what kind of treatment would be most beneficial for you. Then, they will perform a thorough examination of your entire spine, including looking at the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. 

A neurological examination is often performed, testing your reflexes and the strength of specific muscles to test your nerve roots. 

Your chiropractor will then recommend specific exercises, stretches, and modifications to help prevent future problems. Sometimes they recommend seeing another health provider, such as a massage therapist or physiotherapist, to further achieve a patient’s health goals.

How Does A Chiropractor Know If It’s A Pulled Muscle Or Something Else?

A chiropractic examination determines whether the problem relates to the bone, or back strain, for example. The doctor may also check for other conditions, such as arthritis or spinal stenosis. In addition, chiropractors use various manual and diagnostic techniques to diagnose musculoskeletal disorders. 

A chiropractor will examine your entire body to see where you are out of alignment and may use x-rays to check for misalignments. Then, they will manipulate and use soft tissue techniques to help correct those misalignments. 

A series of treatments may be recommended to ensure that your body responds appropriately to the proposed treatment. In subsequent visits, your chiropractor can determine if any underlying issues may have predisposed you to muscle strain in the first place. 

More often than not, people walk around with minor injuries and compensations they have been carrying for a long time. Over time, the body makes adjustments to adapt to these weakened areas for you to continue to function at your highest capacity. 

However, when overloaded for too long, it doesn’t take much to push your body’s limit past its capacity and boom – a muscle strain occurs. Patients commonly report that they are “not sure why they got injured,” “it was just a small movement,” “slept wrong,” or just “moved the wrong way,” and their muscles seized up. This explains why. 

How Chiropractic Treatments Can Help With Muscle Pain

Muscle knots and muscle pain are common problems that many people deal with daily. 

Many people don’t realize that treating muscle knots and pulled muscles is possible without resorting to drugs or surgery. Chiropractors offer some of the best treatments for muscle knots and muscle pain because they focus on the body’s natural healing mechanisms to restore function.

Some techniques used at Mind Body Spine to heal muscle injury include:

  • Joint manipulation: A technique used to reduce muscle tension and improve mobility. This treatment involves adjusting vertebrae and joints to realign the body and restore normal function. 
  • Active release: A soft tissue technique that uses the body’s natural eccentric muscle lengthening while pressure is applied, releasing adhesions and restrictions.
  • Spinal decompression: This treatment helps reduce muscle spasms and decrease pain. It is also effective at treating a wide range of neck and back problems.

If You’re Experiencing Muscle Pain, We Can Help

If you’ve been experiencing pain in your spine, muscles or bones, you should consider seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is one of the most effective ways to treat muscle strains and pulls. 

The team at Mind Body Spine is trained in diagnosing and treating these injuries, as well as other musculoskeletal conditions. We offer treatment for acute injury (a sudden strain) and chronic injury (an ongoing problem). 

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!