A strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon, causing pain, swelling, and sometimes, muscle spasms. Strains are common in the hamstring muscles and the low back.
A strain may occur due to a fall, running, jumping, throwing, or lifting activities. Repetitive movements, such as that in certain sports and occupations, may lead to more chronic strains that can be hard to shake.
Weak muscles, improper technique or form, or lack of a warm-up may also contribute to a strain injury. Often, time and physical therapy involving strengthening around the joint help guide recovery. Massage therapy can also help increase blood flow to the area, promoting the body’s healing abilities. Strains often take about 2-6 weeks to heal.