How Long Does It Take a Pulled Muscle to Heal?

No one likes pulling a muscle! It ruins our plans to exercise, to play with the kids and even our comfort level when we relax. So, how long will it take to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling?

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team provides some helpful information on pulled muscles below.

What Happens When I Pull a Muscle?

When you pull a muscle, you stretch or tear muscle fibers. This usually happens when the muscles overstretch or are forced to contract too quickly. A pulled muscle, or a muscle strain, most often happens to the lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring.

If you aren’t sure if the pain you’re experiencing signifies a pulled muscle, we’ve listed some tell-tale signs of a muscle strain below.

Muscle Strain Signs

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

Will It Take a Long Time for a Pulled Muscle to Heal?

It really depends on how severe the muscle strain is. For a mild strain, you may be able to return to normal activities within three to six weeks with basic home care. For more severe strains, however, recovery can take several months.

In severe cases, surgical repair and physical therapy may be necessary. With proper treatment after a potential surgery, most people make a complete recovery. If you aren’t sure of the seriousness of your muscle strain, we’ve listed the three grades of muscle strain 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.

Do you need medical care for your muscle strain? If so, walk into our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City center today!