Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

That Painful Pull

A pulled or torn muscle can be a real challenge to heal

More than 300 individual muscles enable your limbs to work and give your body shape and definition. If you spend time properly stretching and strengthening them, you're rewarded with strength, power and flexibility.

On the other hand, if your muscles are improperly trained or injured, you may end up with significant problems. Many of us have seen the serious consequences of an abrupt muscle tear: A sprinter rounding the turn suddenly drops, clutching a torn hamstring.

A muscle tear may be partial or complete and caused either by a direct blow or by overexertion. There are three degrees of muscle ruptures. A first-degree strain involves less than 5 percent of the muscle. You may notice only mild pain and not lose much strength or range of motion. We sometimes refer to these mild tears as pulled muscles.

A second-degree tear is a greater rupture that stops short of a complete tear. Any contraction of the torn muscle will cause pain. With either a first- or second-degree tear, you may feel a defect of the muscle - a bump or an indentation - at the site of the most pain. You should be able to partially contract the muscle, but you may not be able to walk or stand without pain or a limp.

A third-degree rupture is a complete tear across the width of the muscle. You will be unable to contract the muscle. This is what happens when someone suddenly drops while sprinting. The torn end of the muscle may ball up and form a large lump under the skin, and a great deal of internal bleeding occurs. Severely torn muscles may require surgery to heal properly.

Keeping Your Muscles Healthy

You're more likely to tear a muscle if you're not adequately trained or properly warmed up. So it's important to lay the proper groundwork with pre-season conditioning and to gradually build up to peak condition.

Pushing yourself too hard also can contribute to a muscle tear. This seems like common sense, but what happens to the muscle tissue to cause this?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.