Muscle Tear

Understanding Muscle Tear

The tearing of a muscle corresponds to the lesion of the fibers that compose it. Muscle Tear occurs after intense physical action. Very common among athletes, this painful injury can range from simple elongation, to “breakdown” with damage to muscle fibers and up to the rupture of a muscle and its tendon.

Muscle tearing: a frequent accident among athletes

A muscle tear is an injury to a muscle that occurs during heavy physical exertion.

It can affect many so-called “skeletal striated” muscles, which are made up of muscle fibers (elongated cells) and attach to a bone of the skeleton. Most often, the tear occurs in the thigh (front or back) or calf.

It is of variable severity: from simple elongation, to “breakdown” (incomplete tear), or complete tear.

muscle tear shoulder

Frequent non-tearing muscle pain during physical exertion

These pains often come from excessive efforts; they yield after rest, good hydration and stretching:

  1. The cramp: intense, brutal, involuntary, and very painful contraction.
  2. Aches: diffuse muscle pain, appearing the day after physical exertion.
  3. Contracture: muscle pain occurring after too intense an effort.
  4. Muscle Stretching, Breakage And Tearing: Lesions Of Variable Severity
  5. The muscle tear is of variable severity, depending in particular on the number of broken muscle fibers:

elongation corresponds to stretching of the muscle with tearing of a few fibers, without bleeding;muscle strain (or “incomplete tear”) represents a tear in a greater or lesser number of muscle fibers (a hematoma is present);Complete musculotendinous rupture is characterized by a total tearing of the muscle and its tendon (a hematoma is present and the muscle is deformed).


Most often, muscle tearing results in:

A sharp, sharp, even shooting pain, stabbing in a muscle, occurs during an intense sporting activity. The muscle, as “flabbergasted”, can no longer be set in motion. The athlete must stop his effort and rest. He can’t set foot on the ground,sometimes an audible popping sensation.

The affected muscle is very painful. Rapidly, a hematoma forms in the event of breakdown and musculotendinous rupture and edema (swelling) of the injured part appears at the level of the muscle.

In case of musculotendinous rupture, one perceives a hollow at the place of the rupture and a “ball” at the level of the retracted muscle.


A muscle tear occurs after very heavy physical exertion (e.g. violent ball kicking during a football match).

We then speak of an intrinsic cause (linked to the person himself, independently of any external factor).

The risk of intrinsic muscle tear is increased by certain factors:

  1. insufficient muscle preparation by warming up and stretching;
  2. periods of intense physical activity that are too close together, with recovery that is too short and/or training that is not progressive enough;
  3. excessive or rough action;
  4. an unsuitable diet (and more particularly hydration);
  5. tendonitis.

muscle tear treatment

muscle tear recovery time



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