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Strained Muscle

Strained Muscle


A strain refers to damaged muscle fibers, as distinct from a sprain, which is an injury to a joint.

A classic example is the hamstrings, which are vulnerable in sprinters. Repetitive strains, which are not allowed to heal properly may cause scar tissue to build-up and the muscle will never function at 100% again.


If a sprinter is competing in the 100 yard dash, it is difficult to believe that it is over-use, resulting from fatigue. It seems more likely, at least so far as this example is concerned, to be an overload in terms of force, tearing the muscle belly apart and/or a lack of fiber length.

Fiber length is often thought of in terms of "stretching" exercises. In fact, the origin and insertion remain fixed, so that any increase to the range of motion must be achieved through relaxation of the muscle belly. This relaxation can be a significant factor in strain injury.

The hamstrings, for example, may be "tight" because of lack of warm-up, cold weather conditions, or an imbalance between the agonist and antagonist muscle groups involved in the running motion. This imbalance could be brought about by a delicate balance between the forces, possibly disrupted by a lack of coordination. The sprinter may be put-off by another runner alongside, seeking to gain additional speed, or to reach for a greater stride, in order to catch-up. Contrary to the natural rhythm which has developed in practice.

Getting "out-of-step", so-to-speak, can be injurious.

Signs & Symptoms

Some mild strains may not be felt during the "heat of the action", so that the athlete does not seize-up until later, after cooling down, or upon rising the following day.

Moderate strains are usually noticeable and can bring the activity to a sudden halt. Walking may still be possible.

In severe strains, the athlete will usually drop to the ground, grabbing a leg, as if they've been shot. The area will be tender and may become swollen. A bruise will usually form, possibly the size of a dinner plate.

This athlete will only be able to limp around, probably on crutches.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Multi Vitamin/Multi Mineral Formulas &
        Joint Support

General Supplements


Calcium1,000 mg
CoQ10100 mg
Magnesium500 mg
Potassium100 mg
Proteolytic Enzymes*
Selenium200 mcg
Vitamin B Complex50 mg tid
Vitamin C3,000 mg
Vitamin E1,000 IU
Zinc50 mg

*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

"Green" foods, juices and drinks, are highly recommended.

Foods rich in minerals are of vital importance, including:
Chromium (e.g. lobster and cheese);
Magnesium (beans, grains, nuts and squashes); and
Silicon (oats and rice).

Some food oils may also be massaged into the injured area e.g. olive oil (this usage dating back to Ancient Greece and Rome).

Herbal Approaches


St. John's wort

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.


The external use of St. John's wort is approved for injuries by the German Comission E.


Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Homeopathic Remedy

After violent exerciseCimicifuga racemosa tinct.
After prolonged exerciseArnica montana tinct.
Bruised feelingRuta graveolens tinct. (after Arnica)
Deep - bruised sorenessBellis perennis

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.


Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Chamomile Essence,Eucalyptus Essence,
Juniper Essence,Lavender Essence,
Lemon Essence,Marjoram Essence,
Orange Essence,Peppermint Essence,
Rosemary Essence,Tangerine Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Insufficient Blood Circulation
Restless Legs Syndrome
Varicose Veins



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