The Latest Shockwave Therapy for 

Muscle Strain Treatment in Edmonton

If you have suffered from a sports injury or overdone it during work or exercise you might be looking for muscle injury treatment in Edmonton. Here at the Unpain Clinic we have a multi-disciplinary team that includes physiotherapy, chiropractic, shockwave therapy and massage to help you get better sooner. We are also dedicated to making sure our patients (and website visitors) are educated and informed when it comes to their health. We encourage you to read on to learn more and if you have any questions about our clinic or how we can help you, you can book a free, no-obligation telehealth consultation to speak  with one of our healthcare providers.

What is a teared muscle?

We get asked this question often by patients and a torn muscle is exactly what it sounds like, a muscle in which some or all of the muscle fibers have been stretched or torn due to the application of an excessive force beyond the muscle’s capacity for loading.  Also called pulled muscles or strains, they are divided into categories or grades based on the level of injury.

Grade 1 (Mild)Grade I strains affect a limited number of fibers in the muscle. There is no decrease in strength and no change to active and passive ranges of motion at any joint the muscle crosses. Pain and tenderness are often delayed to the next day and  fairly mild.
Grade 2Grade II strains occur when up to half of the muscle fibers have been torn. These types of strains are usually accompanied by acute and significant pain and swelling and partial loss of strength or range of motion.
Grade 3 (Severe)Grade III strains occur when all or most the muscle fibers are torn. This could mean the tendon is separated from the muscle belly or that the muscle belly is torn apart. These types of strains come with severe swelling and pain and usually a complete loss of function of the muscle.
Table of Teared Muscle Grades

Symptoms of Muscle Tears

“How do you know if you teared a muscle?”  -another question we often get asked. Tears can be instantly obvious or can develop over the course of hours to days and become noticeable when symptoms reach a certain threshold.  Common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited ability to move the muscle
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Redness or bruising in the area of injury

What to do for muscle strain

Management of muscle strains depends on how bad the injury is. More severe strains will require more and different kinds of treatment than mild strains.  The chart below outlines some treatment options for each grade of injury.

Grade 1 Injury (mild)Grade 2 injury (moderate)Grade 3 injury (severe)
Rest/activity restrictionIceElevationOver the counter pain relief medications (ask your pharmacist for a recommendation) KT taping or compression bandagingStretches and exercisesEverything in Grade 1 injury categoryShockwave therapyUltrasoundManual therapy (massage or myofascial release) Acupuncture or dry needlingTENS PRP or prolotherapyMay require immobilization in a cast or brace or surgical intervention Rehab after treatment  will likely include at least some components from Grade 1 and 2 injury category  
Details about each grade of injury

Pulled muscle vs strain: what’s the difference?

As it turns out, nothing. A strain is the terminology healthcare providers use to describe what most people would call a “pulled muscle.” 

How to heal a muscle strain

At the end of the day, proper diagnosis and treatment along with some time, will heal most, if not all muscle strains. You can also optimize healing time by focusing on other general factors that improve health such as eating a healthy diet, getting quality sleep, reducing stress and getting more movement (with an injury this may be harder but you can always find modifications and ways of moving uninjured areas).

Physiotherapy for Muscle Strains in Edmonton

At the Unpain Clinic our talented physiotherapist (and chiropractor) diagnose and treat muscle strains using their education, training and unique skill sets. One of the tools they use to treat muscle strains (among many others) is shockwave therapy.  Shockwave therapy uses soundwaves to create effects at the myofascial and cellular level that combine to help reduce pain, muscle tightness and adhesions and stimulate tissue regeneration.

If you would like a practitioner at the Unpain Clinic to assess you and develop a plan of management to help get you feeling better, feel free to call our clinic at (587) 400-8666 or book an appointment online.

FAQs about Muscle Strain

What are muscle strain symptoms?

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited ability to move the muscle
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Redness or bruising in the area of injury

What tests will be done to diagnose a muscle strain?

Your healthcare provider will start with getting a history of your problem and will perform an examination of the affected area. They may also choose to refer you for diagnostic imaging or other testing if necessary, but this is not required to make a diagnosis of a muscle strain.

How do muscle strains affect my body/ What can I expect if I have a muscle strain?

At the site of the injury you may feel pain, stiffness, tenderness, tightness, swelling, weakness/loss of strength or reduced range of motion for a period of time until your injury heals. If you have to use crutches, alter your gait, or change your movement patterns to compensate for the strain then you may also experience some generalized discomfort in other areas which should resolve as you heal.

When to seek medical care for a strain?

Most strains don’t require medical attention as they are mild and will heal with rest and at home care strategies. For strains that are not improving, or are more severe, you can see a physiotherapist or chiropractor for an assessment and plan of management to help you feel better. However, if you notice any of the following seek immediate medical attention:

  • If you have experienced a sudden traumatic injury, especially with a loud pop or snap at the time of injury
  • If you cannot weight-bear or move a part of your body
  • If the affected area is red/discolored, very warm, very swollen or if you have an obvious deformity
  • If you have dramatic changes in your range of motion (much more or much less than normal)
  • If you have pain with signs of an infection (fever, chills, redness)

How to treat muscle strain?

If it is a mild strain then rest, ice, elevation, over-the-counter analgesics and some easy exercises and stretches combined with some time to heal, should be sufficient treatment. If the strain is more severe or not healing it might require treatment by a chiropractor, physiotherapist or medical doctor. In cases of severe strains, surgical repair of the damaged ligaments, tendons or muscles may be required. 

What questions should I ask my doctor?

You should leave any interaction with your healthcare provider feeling like you understand your condition and any plans for managing your recovery. You should ask questions to fill in any gaps in your understanding, and if you have the time, we suggest thinking about and writing down some questions you may have in advance of your appointment. If you still aren’t sure about something reach out to your healthcare provider again and ask.

How common are muscle strains?

Fairly common. Any activity where an excessive force is applied to a muscle or tendon either rapidly or in a prolonged manner has the ability to create a strain injury. People who have very physical jobs, play contact sports, are generally deconditioned, have had previous injuries in the same area or have some comorbid conditions may be more prone to strain and sprain injuries

How to recover from a pulled muscle

First – have patience. Pulled muscles take time to heal and injuries where your mind says “go” but your body says “no” can be the most frustrating to deal with.  Find a good clinician who can help you manage your strain and help you to develop some at home strategies for dealing with pain and modifying activities as needed to reduce the chance of further injury.  Focus on functional gains rather than pain and remember that letting an injury heal fully will protect better against future injury than rushing back into sport, work or other activities.

True Shockwave™ or Flashwave®? No need to wonder.

Our therapists will assess your situation and formulate a True Shockwave™, Radial Pressure Wave or Flashwave® treatment plan appropriate for achieving the most effective and lasting results.

Book a Tele-Free Assessment to see if we can help you!

What our patients are saying

Wendy Douglas - Plantar Fasciitis
Janet Thompson - Overuse/Running Injury