Most of us have strained or pulled a muscle at some point in our lives. These types of injuries occur when you overstretch or tear the bundles of tissue that give your skeleton stability and movement.
Muscle strains can vary in severity, but they share similar symptoms, such as:
Most strains occur because of muscle overuse, misuse, or fatigue. That means there are several steps you can take to avoid them.
There are several reasons why it pays to maintain a healthy weight, and that includes avoiding muscle strain. Every extra pound you carry puts added pressure on your muscles, especially in weight-bearing areas of your body, like your legs and back. It also increases your risk of strain injuries because extra weight can impair your physical function, resulting in:
Our team recommends following a healthy diet and exercise program as part of your weight management plan to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your muscles.
You probably know that you should always warm up your muscles before participating in sports or physical activities. But moving smarter goes far beyond exercise alone. Contrary to popular belief, you can even strain a muscle when walking or even coughing.
Some of the most common areas people strain muscles include the lower back, shoulder, neck, and hamstring (behind your thigh). But you can avoid many of these injuries by practicing better body awareness, like:
It’s also essential to listen to your body. If you’re new to exercise, take your time and don’t push yourself too hard or too fast. Similarly, if something feels off, stop immediately.
Many strains occur because of a fall or sudden twist that forces your muscle out of its normal position. In fact, falls topped the list as the leading cause of preventable nonfatal injuries in 2018.
Fortunately, you can reduce your fall risk by:
Our team also suggests incorporating physical therapy or balance exercises into your fitness regimen to help maintain or improve your coordination, strength, and stability as you age.