Torn muscles can happen to anyone, but they often occur in people who play sports or lift weights. This injury results when your muscle gets stretched beyond its capacity, causing it to separate from the tendon.
At Ortho 1 Medical Group in San Diego County, California, our providers are committed to helping keep you healthy and strong. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with our top tips for preventing muscle tears.
We also know that sometimes, even with the most careful practices, accidents happen. If you experience a muscle tear, we can help you recover faster with minimally invasive platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
Top tips for preventing muscle tears
While some injuries are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of a muscle tear. We’ve gathered our top tips to help you avoid this painful injury.
Always warm up
You may be able to avoid muscle tears by taking time to warm up your body before engaging in physical activity. Pushing a cold muscle to perform can cause injuries of all kinds, including muscle tears.
Warming up raises your heart rate and increases the flow of blood to your muscles, bringing them much-needed oxygen. It also activates the nerve-muscle connection, helping you move more smoothly and efficiently, minimizing your risk of injury.
You likely have heard the phrase “no pain, no gain,” but don’t take that literally. In fact, pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong, and it’s often the first sign of a muscle tear. Pain frequently stems from overtraining.
Overtraining causes wear-and-tear on your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments, increasing your chances of injury. Instead, know your body’s limits and avoid overtraining if you want to minimize your risk of a muscle tear.
Rest your body
Rest days help you avoid overtraining, and they give your muscles the time they need to heal, recover, and come back stronger. Besides taking at least two days off from intense exercise each week, get plenty of sleep at night to prevent muscle tears.
Without adequate water, your muscles can’t get the electrolytes they need to stay healthy. Water also helps energize your muscles, improving performance.
When you get dehydrated, your muscles become tense and more prone to cramping. They also can’t move as well or stretch as far, making them more likely to tear when you engage in physical activity.
Take time to stretch
Stretch before and after you engage in physical activity. Always warm up before you stretch, and never stretch to the point of pain.
Before you work out, use dynamic stretches to warm up your body and your muscles. This type of stretching means you move through the range of motion without holding the stretch.
At the end of your session or practice, use static stretches that you hold at the point of tension for at least 10-20 seconds to help avoid muscle injuries.
How PRP injections help heal muscle tears
Accidents can happen, even if you follow all preventive steps. If you find yourself with a muscle tear, minimally invasive PRP injections can help ease your discomfort and promote faster healing.
PRP therapy doesn’t use drugs or chemicals. Instead, PRP injections harness the power of your body’s own healing properties using the disc-shaped cells called platelets found in your blood.
Platelets have powerful growth factors that activate when you’re hurt or have a disease or injury that affects the health of your tissues. They aid in the repair process and send signals to other cells to support the healing process.
With PRP injections, we draw a small amount of your blood, then separate the platelets from the rest of the blood using a special machine called a centrifuge. The result is a solution with 5-10 times more platelets than your blood naturally has. We then inject the PRP solution into the torn muscle.
PRP injections are extremely safe, and because we use your own cells, reactions are extremely rare. Treatment only takes about 30-90 minutes, depending on your injury. There’s no downtime required, and you can leave right after your injections.
Are you ready to learn more about preventing muscle tears? Schedule an appointment at the Ortho 1 Medical Group office nearest you. We’re located in San Diego, Coronado, La Jolla, and Chula Vista, California.