Physiotherapy articles

How to distinguish a contracture from a fibrillar rupture?

Many times during the practice of sports activity you can notice muscle punctures that leave us unable to continue. But how do we know if it is a contracture or something more serious like a fibrillary rupture?

Our collaborator Fisiopinar Clinic This time he tells us how to distinguish between a simple contracture and a fibrillar rupture.

What is a muscle contracture?

By definition a muscle contracture is an involuntary and permanent contraction of the muscle, while the fibrillar break It consists of the interruption of the continuity of the muscular tissue almost always by an excessive stretching of the muscle.

Both injuries present with similar symptoms, as a puncture, local and intense pain and inability to continue.

We can differentiate them when we stretch the muscle, which in both cases will hurt, but if there is a break there will be a burning sensation and the impossibility of doing it.

Do you know how to differentiate it?

But to differentiate it is more significant when we ask for an eccentric contraction of the damaged muscle, that is, when it contracts when stretched.

In contracture the pain will be relieved, however if there is a break it will hurt significantly.

Often the tears present with a characteristic pain that is the sign of the stone or bite, in which the athlete clearly feels as if someone has thrown a stone at him, or as if he has been bitten.

But this sign does not always appear, therefore an adequate and early diagnosis is important, to start treatment as soon as possible, which is different in each case.

How long does each session last?

The contractures can be solved in 1-2 weeks with heat, massage and hyperthermia, while lFibrillar tears can take 2-4 weeks to recover and treatment should be started as soon as possible with hyperthermia to accelerate healing, avoid massage for a few days and local cold-heat treatment.

It is important go after injury to the physical therapist In order for us to make a correct differential diagnosis, the ideal would be to complement it with a diagnostic image, to start the treatment as soon as possible to return to our usual sports practice.

Clinico Fisiopinar Contact

Street of Caleruega, 18 28033 Madrid

Telephone 91 016 10 58



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