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Do You Suspect a Muscle Strain?

While it’s far from the most serious injury, a muscle strain has the potential to slow you down and maybe even stop you from enjoying your active lifestyle. For example, a strained calf muscle can make it a challenge to run, play sports, or even walk, for that matter.

If you suspect a muscle strain, the first thing you should do is make a thorough list of the symptoms you’re experiencing. These typically include but are not necessarily limited to:

- Muscle pain: More specifically, you’ll feel pain when attempting to use the muscle. At rest, when you’re perfectly still, you may not experience any pain. But upon moving, it immediately sets in.

- Limited range of motion: You know what it feels like when you have full range of motion. And you also know what it feels like when something is wrong. If your range of motion is limited, it’s a telltale sign of a muscle strain. And with this, you’re likely to find it a challenge to live your normal day to day life.

- Swelling: While it doesn’t happen to everyone or every time you strain a muscle, it’s a common symptom to watch for. If the area around the injury appears larger than usual, it’s a sign of a muscle strain. This is often combined with tenderness, with even the slightest of touches causing pain.

Since these symptoms are shared with other injuries, don’t automatically assume that you have a muscle strain. Instead, keep an eye on your injury and seek professional help if necessary. As you begin to recover, look into the many ways to speed up the process, such as ice, heat, and massage therapy.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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