Patient: Over a week ago I strained a tendon in my hamstring during a spin class. I went to the doctor and he gave me anti-inflammatory meds and told me to ice it, which I have been doing, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. The pain isn’t there ALL the time though. I find it mainly hurts in the mornings . It starts when i wake up, then, after my drive to wrok it’s in full force and almost unbearable. Is this normal after a week of taking the meds?
Doctor: A muscle strain is associated with the tearing or excessive stretching of the muscle and can be equally as painful. Sym mptoms of muscle injury obviously involve pain, however it is not uncommon for the affected area to swell, redden and become bruised or discolored. All symptoms of muscle injury can range from mild to severe. Any muscle strain or muscle pull or even a muscle tear implies damage to a muscle or its attaching tendons. The time of healing varies from patient to patient and also depends on the severity of the initial injury. The conservative treatment consists of: initially, protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the PRICE formula) can help the affected muscle and also maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position. Heat can be applied when the swelling has lessened, anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e.: “Aleve”), rest the strained muscle and avoid the activities that caused the strain and other activities that are painful. A Physical Therapy program for 4-6 weeks must be followed and practice at home the stretching exercises above all. The healing time and conditions for each patient are different. If after doing all of the above you keep experiencing limitation of the movements, severe pain, swelling, I strongly recommend you an evaluation by a Sports Medicine Specialist.