A muscle strain is caused when the muscle tissue is over-stretched and becomes damaged (torn). The severity of the strain can be categorised by three grades.
Grade 1. A mild strain to individual fibres in the muscle. Grade 2. Greater damage to the muscle fibres but not a complete tear. Grade 3. Where the muscle is completely ruptured.
Symptoms of 'Muscle Strain' could include, but are not exclusive to:
Interesting Fact: There are over 600 muscles in the human body.
For dancers stretching is key to preventing muscle strain. Dance uses a whole range of movements at varying speeds so without stretching before and after dancing, a strain can easily happen.
Improper technique can also lead to muscle damage, for example landing incorrectly. If participating in a class or having tuition always follow the instructors advice and perform to your level of confidence and ability.
Adequate resting and diet also helps to prevent strains by giving the body the energy and care it needs to recovery and be healthy. A balanced diet should include vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, protein, dairy and complex carbohydrates.
As a general rule the duration of RICE for each grade of muscle strain is as follows:
Muscle strains all need time to heal through rest, without which the injury can progress to the next grade.