Understanding ruptured muscles
A ruptured muscle, or muscle tear, is a partial or total disruption of the muscle fibers, which are caused by a heavy impact or traumatic injury. Not only are the muscle fibers affected but everything that surrounds them as the connective tissue that surrounds the blood vessels. There are several causes that may produce a muscle strain, the most common are: severe muscle fatigue that is caused when in the practice of sports exceeds the use of the muscle, sedentary lifestyle, trauma, poor nutrition, poor circulation, certain diseases (such as diabetes) and a bad muscle conditioning.
Ruptures are very common injuries in athletes, regardless if they are professional or amateurs. Muscle tear in the calf are very common not only in track athletes, but also in other sports. The calf muscle is stretched beyond its limits, resulting in a rupture.
The severity of the tearing of the fibers is influenced by multiple factors, such as location, size and morphology of the fracture, also other factors like age, coexisting illnesses, general state of health can be a part on how severe the rupture might be. There are a multitude of types of classification of these ruptures, but in general are determined by the number of muscle fibers that are torn in the lesion. So much so that a rupture can be miniscule and very small that it could be measured in millimeters, whereas more severe ruptures could reach several up to several inches in length. There are three types of muscle tears: grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3. The approximate time of recovery is: Grade 1 or mild 8 to ten days, Grade 2 or moderate two to three weeks, and grade 3 or serious of three weeks to a month.
It is recommended that once the injury has happened, that the person affected should seek professional help to get a diagnosis of the gravity of the tear, and so that a specialist can recommend the most appropriate course of action for rehabilitation and therapy. However once the injury has been suffered, the implementation of ice and heat therapy can be crucial to help advance the muscle recovery.
The most common treatment for muscle tears and ruptures is known as RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). It consists of bed rest, applying ice or cold packs immediately after the injury in the affected area, then compression with a bandage to avoid inflammation, and finally, raising the injured limb. In this type of treatment the duration of each stage varies depending on the gravity of the rupture.
In addition to the treatment already mentioned, while it is true that the RICE is the most used, physical therapists take advantage of other techniques to treat the injury depending on the severity. Perhaps the most notorious and remarkably effective is TENS therapy, EMS Therapy and isometric training. By using electrotherapy the patient will help the pain stop (TENS) and promote the regeneration and rehabilitation of the muscle (EMS). Also, if there is a new isometric training is applied a speedier and more effective recovery can be achieved.
If you have suffered a muscle rupture or tear recently, we strongly advise that you consult with a professional before considering using yourself any treatment on your own.