Muscle injuries are often referred to as “muscle tears”, “muscle sprains or “pulled muscles”. When muscles are put under incredible pressure there is an inherent risk of damaging that muscle and/or the supporting tendons. Often those who partake in activities such as weight lifting or other strenuous sporting activities are most at risk of such muscular injuries. 

In this article we’re looking at what happens when you tear a muscle, what the symptoms are and how you can recover quicker!

What Happens When You Tear A Muscle?

Tearing a muscle is when you completely tear every single fiber within that muscle to the point where it is nolonger able to function as intended; Thankfully must muscle tears aren’t “complete tears”. When a muscle is put under extreme stress, the fibers within that muscle slowly start to tear. Putting our muscles under strenuous activity doesn’t usually result in an injury, rather tough workouts often result in some minor soreness the following day (known as DOMS), which later fade away as the torn muscle fibers being to heal. However, if you push your muscles too far beyond their limit, you can tear too many muscle fibers which will result in a potentially serious injury.

The severity of muscular injuries can vary significantly and completely depends on the circumstances that caused the injury. Minor muscle tears can often just heal on their own, whereas severe muscle/tendon injuries can require immediate medical intervention and physiotherapy thereafter for an adequate recovery.

Injured elbow image

What Are The Symptoms Of A Torn Muscle?

Below we have compiled a complete list of potential symptoms a torn muscle would produce:

  • Soreness – either experienced immediately (at the point of injury) or delayed (called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS).
  • Swollen / Tenderness / Inflammation – swelling and inflammation means that there is an increase in fluid and white blood cells to the afflicted area.
  • Bruising – bruising around the affected area can mean that blood vessels has been damaged in the injury.
  • Pain while using the muscle – If you’re experiencing pain at rest or while using the muscle it can mean that your aggravating injured muscle fibers.
  • Immobilisation of the muscle – The inability to move a muscle entirely can suggest a significant tear and tendon damage. This would require immediate medical attention.

Torn muscle treatment

Torn Muscle Recovery – How To Treat An Injured Or Torn Muscle.

The most important thing to note when it comes to recovering from a torn muscle is that your doctor knows best! If you believe you have significantly injured or damaged a muscle, go a see a healthcare professional immediately – they will be best able to advise on your situation and the best means of treatment.

For a severe muscle tear you may need immediate medical intervention to allow the muscle to heal correctly. For moderate in injuries you may require physiotherapy/rehabilitation. For minor muscle injuries you may just need bed-rest.

Torn Muscle Surgery Treatment.

In severe muscle tears, where a tendon or muscle has completely pulled away from the bone, surgery will be required in order to correct the dislocated tissue. In order to repair the wound, a surgeon will pull the muscle and tendon back into the correct place and reattach them using stitches, all while removing any scar tissue that has formed within the area.

This type of procedure allows the body to being a correct recovery process; Badly torn muscles that do not undergo such a surgical procedure will be unable to properly heal, no matter how much time passes. Post-surgery, you will need to ensure you keep all weight off the impacted area in order to ensure no further damage is caused to the muscle and/or tendon(s). Towards the end of the healing process you will likely be invited to physiotherapy programs in order to help built strength up in the muscle again – it may take up to 6 months for the muscle to become fully strengthened again.

Torn Muscle Home Treatments.

If your doctor directs you to treat your muscle tear from home you’ll more than likely be instructed to do the following:

Adequately rest the muscle and avoid excessive usage. Ultimately, it’s going to take time for your injury to heal – the majority of this healing process takes place while you’re resting/sleep. Ensure that you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night and that you aren’t excessively using the muscle during the day.

Keep the area iced to reduce further swelling. While swelling isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, it can cause further discomfort and additional pain if it isn’t kept in check. Regularly icing the afflicted area can help reduce inflammation and may also soothe any burning or aching within the muscle itself.

Keeping the muscle compressed. Wrapping the injured area snugly can further help with reduction of swelling. It can also act as a support for the wound. Wrapping shouldn’t be excessively tight that it reduces blood flow to the area, as that may hinder recovery times.

Injured shoulder image

Speeding Up Your Torn Muscle Recovery Time – Eat More Calories!

Putting your body on a caloric deficit while you’re recovering from an injury is one of the worst things you can do. In order for the body to properly heal and create new muscle tissue it needs to burn calories for energy, therefore limiting the immediately-available energy to your body also limits the speed in-which you can recover.

We recommend to anyone who is recovering from an injury to eat at least 500-1000 calories above their daily caloric maintenance for at least 80% of the recovery time.

With all that being said, you need to ensure you’re consuming the right kinds of foods – you can’t just simply binge on snack foods or sugary treats, you need the right blend of Protein, Carbohydrates etc. Below, we have listed the right types of food you should be eating and why.


Important for muscle recovery and regrowth.


Ideal for joint and heart health. Some research into omega-3 has also shown it can help with inflammation.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important vitamin for bone health.

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