A strain is a twist, pull and/or tear of a muscle and/or tendon. Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone. Strains and sprains are among the most common sports injuries. However, because the growth plates at the end of the major bones in a child's arms and legs are open, pain at a joint should be evaluated by a doctor because it may be a fracture, not a simple strain or sprain, which become more common as a child matures and the growth plates close.
There are two types of strains:
Chronic strains that result from overuse (prolonged, repetitive movement) of muscles and tendons, or inadequate rest during intensive training
Acute strains that result from a direct blow to the body, overstretching, or excessive muscle contraction.
Initial treatment for a tendon injury (tendinopathy) typically includes rest and pain relievers. Acetaminophen can reduce pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce both the pain and inflammation you might have from a tendon injury. The goals of this early treatment are to:
- Reduce pain and inflammation of the tendon.
- Restore normal motion and strength.