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Doctor for muscle strains: How Do I Know if My Muscle Pain Requires a Doctor Visit?

How Do I Know if My Muscle Pain Requires a Doctor Visit?

A health condition or injury affecting a muscle can be very painful – and it is often only temporary and will get better with rest and self-care at home. However, if you do not notice any improvement within a week or two, it may be necessary to see an orthopedic doctor for further investigation in order to treat it successfully.

Muscle pain that is caused by exercise, playing sports, repetitive stress or impact injuries are particularly common and are usually localized, affecting just a few muscles or a small area of your body. Fatigue, poor conditioning, dehydration, and improper warm-up prior to exercise can all contribute to muscle pain and injuries.

If muscle pain occurs suddenly while playing a sport or an activity, it likely signals a strained muscle. Let’s talk about when it’s time to see a doctor for muscle pain.

How Do I Know if the Injury Is a Muscle Strain?

A strain occurs when you twist, pull, or tear a muscle or a tendon. A tendon is a connective tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. Symptoms of a strain can include localized pain, swelling, cramping, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness. An acute strain usually occurs when the muscle is suddenly stretched too far, and a chronic strain is usually the result of overuse or a repetitive stress injury.

A strain can vary in severity depending on whether the muscle is only stretched, partially torn, or completely ruptured (torn). A complete tear can cause debilitating muscle pain and may require surgery to repair it.

When to See a Doctor

It can be difficult to know when to visit a physician for muscle pain. If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical advice in order to prevent further damage and receive the appropriate treatment:

  • Persistent muscle pain that does not improve with self-care or over-the-counter pain medication
  • Redness and swelling around a sore muscle (a sign of infection)
  • Systemic muscle pain (pain throughout the body), which may indicate an infection or underlying illness
  • Muscle pain as a result of taking medication (such as statins used to control cholesterol)
  • Shoulder soreness or symptoms of a rotator cuff tear
  • Pain that is affecting your sleep or is worse at night
  • Pain or difficulty when performing certain movements, such as reaching backward, reaching across your body, raising your arm over your head, or weight-bearing
  • A catching, snapping, clicking, or popping sound or feeling when doing certain movements
  • An obvious deformity or abnormal shape in the affected area

Orthopedic Doctor in San Antonio, Texas

If you have muscle pain as the result of an injury or condition, or even if you have no idea how it started, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. We are dedicated to providing you with the best patient-centered care and treatment that works for you.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (210) 692-7400 or fill out our online form to request an appointment. We look forward to serving you!


When to Go to Urgent Care for Muscle Strains

Your muscles contain bundles of thread-like fibers. An injury or repetitive motions, like bending and twisting, can cause strain, leading to a pulled muscle (or muscle strain). When you pull a muscle, the fibers stretch abnormally or tear. Loras Even, DO, UnityPoint Health, explains when to consider going to urgent care for muscle strains.

How Would I Know if I’ve Pulled a Muscle?

“It’s common to think of muscle strains as sports injuries. But everyday activities, such as sitting at a desk or sleeping in an awkward position, cause strains, too,” says Dr. Even. “Sometimes they’re due to sudden jerking movements, like trying to regain your footing after tripping on something.

Strains often affect muscles in the:

  • Back
  • Calf
  • Groin
  • Hamstring (back of your leg)
  • Neck
  • Wrist

If you’ve pulled a muscle, you are likely to experience:

  • Bruising
  • Change in the skin’s appearance, such as a gap or dent (rare)
  • Cramping that comes and goes (muscle spasms)
  • Difficulty moving the affected area
  • Pain even when sitting
  • Swelling

When to Go to Urgent Care for a Muscle Strain

“Muscle strains can be uncomfortable and complicate your daily life. But they often heal on their own. It just takes time,” Dr. Even explains.

However, some strains require medical attention.

“It’s worth your peace of mind to come in for strain symptoms you find worrisome.”

You may want to consider going to urgent care if:

  • Pain isn’t going away after a few days, or it’s getting worse
  • Symptoms include numbness or tingling
  • You heard a “pop” when the injury occurred
  • It’s challenging to perform basic tasks, like walking or getting out of bed
  • You experience numbness or tingling
  • You cannot move the area
  • Pain radiates down the arms or legs
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t helping

Wondering what pain reliever to try? Learn more about acetaminophen vs. ibuprofen: what to take when.

How Can an Urgent Care Provider Help Me?

Coming to urgent care can take some of the uncertainty out of muscle strain recovery.

“It’s natural to be somewhat anxious. With a slow-healing injury like this, you may wonder whether you’re on the right track. We are happy to discuss your diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis.”

Other ways urgent care providers can help include:

  • Prescribing medications or giving injections for pain that won’t quit
  • Providing home-care guidance, including specific stretches or strengthening exercises
  • Referring you to physical therapy for additional assistance during your recovery
  • Giving you self-care recommendations to lower your risk of re-injury
  • Developing plans for a safe return to work, sports or other physical activities
  • Providing a doctor’s note if you need to reduce or avoid certain work activities

For a prompt evaluation and diagnosis, visit a UnityPoint Health Urgent Care. Urgent care providers treat patients of all ages, including adolescents and older adults. They get to the source of the pain and recommend therapies that bring relief. No appointment is necessary.

Preparing for Your Urgent Care Visit

When you come to urgent care, your provider will ask questions about your symptoms and what may have caused the strain. You also receive a thorough physical exam to help determine the strain’s location and severity. This information helps plan the next steps of your care.

We may ask you to explain:

  • The circumstances that may have caused you to pull a muscle
  • What symptoms feel like
  • How symptoms affect your ability to move and complete daily tasks
  • Whether you have previously strained the area
  • If specific postures, movements or activities make the pain worse
  • Which at-home therapies you may have tried.

At-Home Care for Minor Strains

It might not be necessary to go to urgent care for strains causing mild symptoms. In many cases, over-the-counter pain medications are enough to relieve discomfort.

You can also use the P.R.I.C.E. method:

  • P = Protection. Avoid activities that make symptoms worse.
  • R = Rest. Try using the affected muscle as little as possible.
  • I = Ice. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to minimize swelling. Find out more about when to use ice or heat.
  • C = Compression. Lightly wrap the muscle with an elastic bandage.
  • E = Elevation. Raise the affected limb to ease pressure and prevent blood from pooling.

Read more information about strain relief and recovery: 11 tips for lower back pain.

Easy Access to Muscle Strain Care at UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health makes it easy to get help for severe or stubborn muscle strain symptoms. You can find urgent care clinics with helpful, friendly staff in locations close to home.

For non-emergency situations, our clinics accept walk-in patients seven days a week. Experienced healthcare providers are available during the day, in the evenings and on holidays.

Our offerings also include UnityPoint Health Virtual Care and reserve your spot online for in-person urgent care visits. 

Find a Location

Sprain or rupture of ligaments – which doctor treats

Injury to ligaments or tendons occurs when the amplitude of movement of the joint is exceeded or when overloaded. More than others, the ankle and knee are prone to these problems, especially at home and during sports.

When the ligaments are sprained, a fragmentary rupture of the connecting cords of the muscles occurs, which causes acute pain in the leg, arm or other affected area, edema, restriction of movement or immobilization.

It is forbidden to warm up the damaged area for 3 days. If after a day the pain does not subside, then you should seek help from specialists, because over time the picture changes, which complicates the diagnosis.

There are several doctors who can help relieve the condition, determine the severity of the injury and prescribe treatment:

  • First of all, you need to see a traumatologist. He will order an x-ray to make sure that the cause of the pain is a sprain and not a crack in the bone. From the picture, he will be able to draw a conclusion about the degree of damage to the fibrous bands. If damage to the ligaments of moderate severity is determined, then the traumatologist conducts further treatment. In more serious cases, the traumatologist refers the patient to other specialists of a narrow specialization.
  • The recommendation to see a physiotherapist is highly likely. This specialist, if necessary, prescribes magnetic therapy, UHF, paraffin therapy, mud baths and body wraps, diadynamic therapy and other types of physiotherapy procedures to restore destroyed connective strands.
  • To reduce swelling and pain relief, the massage therapist performs a course of therapeutic massages. This measure accelerates the healing of injured tissues and the resorption of hematomas. It is impossible to apply massages before the onset of 3 days after receiving a stretch, as this can lead to the resumption of internal bleeding.
  • To diagnose complex cases, it is necessary to undergo an endoscopic examination of the affected joint – arthroscopy. This manipulation is performed by an endoscopist. Through a minimal incision, an arthroscope is inserted into the joint, which allows you to get maximum information about the nature of the damage. The image is displayed on the monitor display, where it can be enlarged and examined in detail, as well as saved for future use.
  • In case of severe injuries, it may be necessary to restore the ligaments by the surgeon with the help of surgery. To do this, the fibers are stitched together, and in severe cases, arthroplasty using synthetic materials for the further successful functioning of the joint. After surgical treatment, the recovery period is approximately 2 to 3 weeks.
  • For a quick recovery, you can contact a rehabilitation specialist. Joint rehabilitation work in compliance with the recommendations of a rehabilitation doctor will help to reduce the recovery period to a minimum, provided that rehabilitation measures are started early.

Please note! The information on this page is provided for reference only. To prescribe treatment, you must consult a doctor.

February 27, 2017



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Treatment of sprained muscles, tendons, ligaments – price

What is it?

Sprains are a common type of injury associated with a violation of the integrity of individual muscle or connective tissue fibers. With this problem, it is difficult for a person to move an arm or leg, to perform normal actions.


The symptoms of sprains and sprains are similar, but some signs are different. When the ligaments are sprained, the pain comes on immediately. And when the muscles are stretched, the pain may appear the next day, for example, after sports.

Muscle strain symptoms:

  • joint pain;
  • edema;
  • difficulty moving;
  • discoloration of the skin (subcutaneous hematoma).

Sprain symptoms:

  • severe pain, especially when moving;
  • edema;
  • bruising or redness;
  • pain when touching this area of ​​skin.


Reasons for sprains:

  • heavy physical activity;
  • tucked leg, arm;
  • injury.

Do not postpone a visit to an orthopedic doctor with the above symptoms. Timely treatment will speed up the healing process.

IMPORTANT! If you have a recent injury, then you need to contact a traumatologist.

In the medical center “Doctorius” we treat the consequences of injuries!

Apply for an appointment with a doctor

We will contact you as soon as possible and answer all your questions.

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Sprains are diagnosed by a traumatologist-orthopedist, who, during the initial appointment, performs:

  • orthopedic tests;
  • palpation examination;
  • assessment of the state of the musculoskeletal system (posture, gait, stability and strength of the joint).

To clarify the diagnosis can be assigned:

  • MRI;
  • ultrasound;
  • X-ray.


In the medical center “Doctorius” for the treatment of these diseases, the following treatment methods are used:

  • Hirudotherapy – treatment with leeches.
  • Acupuncture – impact on biologically active points with microneedles.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Intravenous infusions.
  • Ozone therapy – treatment with active oxygen.
  • Laser reflexology – painless effect on reflexogenic zones and points.
  • Pharmacopuncture – the introduction of medicinal preparations of natural origin into the focus of the problem.
  • Medical massage.
  • Manual therapy.
  • Osteopathy – doctor’s hands treatment, mild effect on the musculoskeletal system, nervous and vascular systems, internal organs.
  • Shock wave therapy (SWT).
  • Isometric kinesiotherapy – individual gymnastic techniques / exercises, according to indications with elements of joint massage.
  • Kinesiotherapy using the Exarta device.
  • Kinesiology taping.
  • Medical blockades.
  • Plasmolifting is the introduction of platelet autoplasma into human tissues.


No. Procedure name

Cost (rub)

Primary doctor’s appointment and examination, including:

  • examination by an orthopedist;
  • familiarization by the doctor with the medical history;
  • palpation and reflex diagnostics;
  • identification of possible contraindications.

During treatment, all repeated visits to the orthopedist are FREE OF CHARGE.

1000 ₽
500 ₽
50% discount is valid from 11 to 20 June 2023.

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Benefits of paid treatment

Qualified staff

Appointments are conducted by experienced doctors with more than 15 years of experience

Comfortable service conditions

All treatment procedures are carried out in the clinic, under the guidance of your treating doctor.

Modern methods of treatment

Treatment without interruption from the usual way of life, at any time convenient for patients

High level of equipment of the rooms

During the examination, the results of the examination are broadcast on the monitor for clarity to the patient

the benefits of paid treatment

Treatment processes are compiled personally

Treatment programs are personalized for each patient, taking into account his individual characteristics of concomitant diseases and examination results.