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Athletic Advantage: Muscle Strains

In this week's Athletic Advantage, Alex Zannes takes a look how to avoid and how to treat muscle strains.

The sport of powerlifting can showcase the limits of what the human body is capable of. And when done correctly, is amazing to watch.

But when the body is pushed to it's limits, sometimes it pushes back.

Off all the sports that push the limits of the human body, powerlifting may be at the top. But with heavy lifting comes the possibility of injury and some of the most common injuries are muscle strains.

Jeremy Woodward, Athletic Trainer with United Regional said, "What actually happens with a muscle strain is the tissue or the muscle cells stretch and when they stretch too far they actually tear. The worse the injury the more tearing you have of more fibers."

He says of the cause of muscle strains, "A lot of times it's a sudden jerking movement or if you do something like an inadiqueate or inappropriate lifting technique, the muscle fibers get stretched beyond their elasticity and there is a tearing at the cellular level."

Which is why he says proper technique is so important.

"Proper technique lifting, be it at the workplace, in the gym or your athletic venue, proper technique is really the key."

And if you do feel that you have a muscle strain, he says,

"Always rest initially inside the first 48-72 hours, try to apply some ice and do some very light stretching, maybe some light activity. Don't think if you've had a significant muscle strain that you can return to play at 100 percent the next day, so there is a progression with the healing process."

And if you ever have a question about the severity of a weightlifting injury, always remember to check with your athletic trainer.
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