Muscle Tears/Strains


With 13 muscles in each lower leg travelling past the ankle and 20 muscles within each foot, muscle strains are common for us to assist our clients in managing.

Generally there are 3 main categories of muscle strains / muscle tears:

Grade 1 - Mild injury only impacted a small amount of muscle fibres

Grade 2 - Moderate injury involving partial tear

Grade 3 - Severe involving full thickness/complete tear

Contributing Factors

  • Acute and Chronic overload of specific muscle

  • Completing an activity type that has not been trained for and may be above intensity of what your body is comfortable with

  • Muscle weakness or mobility

  • Poor warm up and cool downs

Symptoms & Pain Presentations

These injuries will present quite differently depending on your specific injury.

Grade 1 muscle strain:

  • Mild pain and tenderness, usually worse the next day

  • Maintain full range of motion and normal strength of muscle

Grade 2 muscle strain:

  • Significant acute pain

  • Reduced strength of muscle - may have difficulty contracting muscle

  • Limited range of motion of affected muscle

  • Potential mild swelling

Grade 3 muscle strain:

  • Severe pain

  • Swelling and potential bruising

  • Loss of function in the muscle

Diagnosis of Injury

Movepod Podiatrists can diagnose most muscle strains within your first appointment in our Podiatry Clinics. We will determine the muscle involved in the injury, the severity of the strain and the approximate recovery times required for proper rehab of the injury.

Imaging can also be utilised to determine the severity of muscle strains and involvement of surrounding soft tissue. An ultrasound can be useful in picking up the strain itself, an MRI is the gold standard of imaging for determining severity and extent of the injury.

Treatment & Prevention

Each type of injury requires different levels of intervention and has different healing timeframes depending on the severity and amount of muscle involved.

Grade 1 muscle strain:

  • Recovery times usually sit between 1-3 weeks for these injuries

  • Involving gradual progression of 

Grade 2 muscle strain:

  • Recovery time usually between 6-12 weeks 

  • Combination of relative rest and active recovery

  • Progressive introduction of movement and load to the affected muscle

  • Keep up strength and fitness whilst working on this

Grade 3 muscle strain:

  • These injuries usually involve surgical intervention for repair and more commonly take 3-6 months depending on part of muscle or tendon involved

  • Resting following surgical intervention

  • Followed by gradual exposure to movement

  • Rebuild muscle capacity and aerobic fitness before return to activities

New Patients

Initial Consultation (60 mins)

Torquay Podiatry Clinic

Geelong Podiatry Clinic