What are the symptoms of a muscle tear

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What are the symptoms of a muscle tear

We talk about muscle tears when a partial or complete breakdown of muscle fibres occurs, caused by hard impact. In addition to muscle fibres, peripheral structures can also be damaged following impact, i.e. around them, such as the tissue surrounding blood vessels. This discomfort usually occurs in people who play contact sports or in which any given muscle is working intensively. Poor preparation, wrong posture during exercise, lack of pre-workout stretch are some of the causes that can lead to muscle tears. Sedentary people are also prone to such ailments because their muscle fibres are weaker because they don't work them. If you feel a sharp pain but do not know what it can be, you should know the symptoms of a muscle tear as this may be the cause of the pain.

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Normally, the muscles with higher rates of damage by tearing are those of the limbs (arms and legs) and the back. Thus, muscle tear symptoms will be present in the quadriceps (front thigh muscle), calf, hamstrings, arm, shoulder or lower back.


To talk about symptoms it is necessary to first clarify the types of muscle tear. This condition can be classified based on two criteria, depending on the severity and according to their characteristics. Depending on the severity of the strain it can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. And, characteristics differentiate between full myofascial tear, fibrillar, multifilament, or fascicular. In all cases, nothing but the injury the first symptom is usually feeling a twinge in the affected muscle accompanied by a click. Pain intensity will vary depending on the type of muscle tear.


A muscle tear is mild when a small breakage occurs to one of the fibres of any risk muscles. Symptoms of this type of injury are usually minimal inflammation of the damaged area and slight discomfort.

When a rupture occurs partially in the muscle fibres, and also in the tendon it is called a moderate tear, as the damage is greater. In this case, symptoms are often feeling further swelling of the area, pain at the touch of the affected body part and light loss of mobility. You may also feel muscle contractions or spasms, which may be accompanied by cramps.


We say that a muscle tear is serious when breakage of the muscle fibres is complete, i.e. when the whole muscle is damaged, the miotendinous binding or fusion of the tendon are fully affected. In these cases, loss of mobility is greater, the pain is more severe, when touching the area you can feel a hole produced by the breakage of the fibres, cramps, muscle spasms and hematomas usually appear. If you do not see a doctor, the pain will worsen with movement preventing you from carrying out almost any physical activity.


Myofascial tear refers to the damage caused in the connective tissues, such as the fascia (connective tissue structure located between muscle fibres) or the aponeurosis (variety of tendon that serves to unite muscles among themselves or with other parts of the body). A muscle tear occurs when there is an injury in the thickness of the thin linear type of musculature . Both cases are categorized as mild as the muscle fibres are not directly damaged, however, if left untreated they can become moderate.


A multifilament tear is a muscle tear variant with multiple lesions. Therefore, the clinical picture is more significant and can be considered moderate. We talk about a fascicular tear when there is a significant lesion, whether in the thickness of the muscle or in peripheral tissues (connective). It normally shows bruising on the affected body part and sharper pain than previous types. It is considered moderate but can easily become serious if not treated properly.


A complete tear refers to the most severe muscular lesions, in which there has been a complete rupture of muscle thickness, muscle fibres or peripheral tissues. Symptoms of this type of muscle pain are those explained in step 4.


If a torn muscle is not properly treated what is known as adherenciolisis, i.e. a partial reopening of the scar or recurrence of mild to moderate tear can occur. It is very important to pay attention to symptoms to detect it early, consult a doctor immediately and prevent it from worsening.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What are the symptoms of a muscle tear, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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