Muscle strains and sprains

Pain in the muscles, including aching, swelling or tightness

Muscle strains and sprains are common sports injuries. Our orthopaedic experts can help to diagnose and treat you

About muscle problems

Muscle strains and sprains can be a common consequence of playing sport or over exertion during activities. These may occur from physical contact or not warming your muscles up properly before playing. You will likely experience pain, swelling and tightness in the pain area. Your consultant can help to diagnose and discuss a range of treatment options with you.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of muscle strains or sprains? icon plus

    Muscle strains happen as a result of muscle fibres stretching beyond their limit. There are different severity levels and symptoms:


    • Grade 1: affects a few fibres and can heal between 2-3 weeks
    • Grade 2: affects more muscle fibres and can be very painful; takes up to six weeks to heal
    • Grade 3: muscle tissue rupture; recovery can be up to three months


    • muscle pain
    • muscle spasms and cramps
    • muscle weakness
    • muscle swelling and inflammation

    The hamstrings and the back can be particularly vulnerable.

    Muscle sprains refer to a ligament tear or stretching, such as a twisted ankle. Symptoms include:

    • swelling/bruising
    • pain/discomfort
    • restriction of movement in the area
  • How are muscle injuries diagnosed? icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you to help make a diagnosis. Tests we offer to diagnose joint inflammation and swelling include:

    • a physical examination to understand the extent of the injury
    • X-rays to assess and/or rule out broken bones
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your treatment options and help to determine the best approach for you. Treatment options might include:

    • physiotherapy course relevant to your specific injury
    • pain relief medication - if required, you may be given crutches to assist with walking
    • surgery may be considered for a torn ligament or ruptured muscle

    Your consultant will discuss these treatment options with you in detail during the diagnosis process.

Our orthopaedic consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic consultant specialising in different areas of the body across orthopaedic, including the foot and ankle, the knee, the hip and pelvis and the spine.

Our locations

From complex physiological muscle issues to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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