A muscle strain is an injury (partial tear) that damages the internal structure of the muscle. The tearing may be so small that one could only see it with a microscope. However, the tearing could be severe enough to cause internal bleeding and cause some muscle fibers to lengthen. If the damaged parts of the muscle actually pull away from each other, it is called a muscle rupture.
Muscles of the Back
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A muscle strain is caused by tension or stress applied to the muscle that it cannot withstand. There are several ways that this can happen:
- Muscle may not be ready for sudden stress
- Tension may be too much for the muscle to bear (such as, lifting a weight that is too heavy for you)
- Muscle is used too much on a certain day
Certain areas have muscles that are more likely to be strained than others including:
Muscles that cross two joints are at risk.
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.