Single Best Treatment for Muscle Tear or Strain (By Far)
Updated: Oct 28
This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in July of 2020.
For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYjnXBxzmtM&t=95s
Bob: Oh yeah, we’re ready!! Today we’re going to talk about the single best treatment for muscle tear or strain, by far.
Brad: By far!
Bob: So, I’ve had three muscle tears in my life, and we’ll go into this.
Brad: It’s always about Bob!
Bob: Yes, it’s always about me. As you get older, it’s a lot easier to do, get muscle tears, that is. Tell what happened, Brad. I’m going to tell them that you’re battling one right now.
Brad: It’s my hamstring, it’s not a tear. I think this is a minor strain. I have torn it before, but this
is a reoccurring problem. Which we’re going to do a video on coming up shortly.
Bob: Sure. So, I tore my pectoralis, my tricep, my gastric soleus, that was the last one.
Brad: Oh, that’s right.
Bob: In each case it took longer to heal. In each case, they healed and then I re-tore them. Almost every time.
Brad: Same in my scenario. Very common.
Bob: You can have a minor tear, in fact, they grade them, grade them 1 through 3. 10% of the fibers, that’s a grade one.
Brad: I’d almost call that a strain perhaps.
Bob: Right, right, that’s probably what you’re referring to.
Bob: Grade two is 10-90%. I think you might be in the 10-90% because of the fact that it keeps coming back, Brad, I don’t know.
Brad: Yeah, well, that’s pretty broad, 10-90%.
Bob: I know, they make it easy that way and then if it’s a grade three, you might even be looking at surgery, it’s 90%.
Brad: Yes, you’ve got some pain. Serious pain.
Bob: So, you start off generally with the PRICE method. An acronym.
Brad: Protect, rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Bob: You do that for a couple of days, but then after that, as soon as you put it under stress, it seems like it re-tears.
Bob: So what we follow is the work of Cyriax, and you want to do some cross fiber massage to the muscle. So, let’s take a simple example here, Brad. Let’s say, you’re quadricep, you tore it mid top of your thigh. The fibers of the muscle run this way, up and down, so all you’re going to do is massage across. You’ll find the tender spot. It’s not hard to find.
Brad: You have to palpate in there, look around, it’ll come right out at you.
Bob: You’re going to massage across the muscle. Now this works well on smaller muscles, not like the quad, but let’s say you did your bicep.
Brad: Or if you have tennis elbow. You’re going to get into those muscles. You’re not massaging the skin. You want to push down and get into those muscle fibers. And it can be a little painful at first.
Bob: The thing is, Cyriax, if you go back to his old books, he would recommend for like 10, 15 minutes. Yes, you’re going to wear your hands off.
Brad: Yes, your fingers. I never go more than probably two or three and I get pretty tired.
Bob: Yes, I do two or three and then put it throughout the day. That’s what I do. Stretch it out.
Bob: But, I was looking at some research, Brad, and they were saying a lot of times what pays off is for you to use the massage prior to doing an activity. Like my wife’s now having trouble with her hamstring again. I said, “Have you been using a massager?” And she goes, “No.” I said, “Not only should you use it, but definitely use it before.” Hers is starting to really fire up.
Brad: I hope she doesn’t watch this video.
Bob: I hope not either. Love you, sweetie.
Brad: Yeah, exactly. It’s kind of like, seriously, do you stretch before an activity or do you not? It used to be you always stretched and now there is controversy back and forth. This is kind of in the same realm with that.
Bob: I think it’s a no brainer, Brad. I get some hip pain once in a while, and if I do the massage before I go out, no problems. I know that’s anecdotal one, but this is also the research is showing this. So, let’s go with the research.
Brad: Well, it’s one of those things that you can do it.
Bob: Yes, it’s not harmful.
Brad: It’s not going to make it worse at all. So, see how your body responds.
Bob: So, if you’re so inclined, we are going to mention that one product here. We’re kind of proud of this, Brad. This is the Bob and Brad massage gun.
Brad: Well, there’s a long story to this but at one time, we just knew these are the massage guns, maybe they work and maybe they don’t. But over the last couple years, between patients and ourselves, we’ve become very good believers and the research now.
Bob: Well, now, the other thing is these used to be like $400, $500.
Brad: Yeah, they were expensive.
Bob: We just wouldn’t even recommend them, because they were so high.
Brad: Well, they’re not professional athletes buying them. We get the average person.
Bob: Right. So for ours now, they’ve got just a super deal. I hate to sound like a salesperson here, but they did put forth a super deal.
Brad: And the quality of this is awesome. We would not put our name on it if it wasn’t something we were proud of.
Bob: Can you see our name on it? Look at that. Zoom in pretty close, ha-ha. It’s pretty tiny, but it’s on there.
Brad: Let’s show them how it works.
Bob: Yeah, you just hold on for about five seconds and it pops in.
Brad: So, you’re going to do this directly over this muscle tear?
Bob: I’m going to go right across the muscle fibers, just across them like that. It’s got different heads and I discovered this one, it’s got the air-filled one. That one is awesome.
Brad: If you get close to a bone, it doesn’t hurt.
Bob: No, no, it doesn’t. I forgot to mention that one. I did have a quadricep tear too.
Brad: Yes, by your patella.
Bob: Yes, right by my patella and I used to do this one.
Brad: Now, I like this, if you put the round head on there, you can truly get the cross friction instead of going straight on, you can go from the side and it’s not as aggressive. You’re still getting that cross friction. It’s just an option. It depends on you, I might do that on the elbow, go at it from the side, for lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow. So it’s just another neat thing you could use.
Bob: It’s one of those things that somebody in the family, at some point, is going to need this. Right now, we’re passing it around. I use it, like I said, on my hip in the mornings, before I run. My wife’s going to need it on the hamstring and that’s just us two at home.
Brad: If you’ve got kids that are active and in sports, it will get used.
Bob: Yeah. Anyways, enough for the sales pitch right now. Oh, It’s got five speeds too.
Brad: Quit playing with it Bob.
Bob: Alright, so what are some of the common muscle tears? A hamstring, as we mentioned, groin, hip abductors.
Brad: Very common place for a strain or tear.
Bob: Rectus femoris. That’s kind of a kicking one, you know.
Brad: Yep, field goal kicker, soccer players.
Bob: Lumbar paraspinals, that’s the muscles on each side of your spine, especially on the lower back.
Brad: Right, that’s a pretty thick muscle group right there, on each side.
Bob: Then the other one is the calf. It’s become very common, that’s what I did. So I’m going to tell you also the second best treatment I think is. Now, this is what you don’t follow, either Brad, I don’t think. You want to gradually, as it’s getting better, you want to gradually increase the stress on the muscle. That’s what I did with the calf muscle. I went on a treadmill and I would actually take weight on my arms and I’d try to run for a little bit. I could just tell like it would hurt and then I would go back to walking again. I did that for weeks. Just gradually increase the stress on it. You don’t think that way. I know you don’t. You go, you have two speeds, Off and zoom!
Brad: I know but when I have a patient, I tell them to do it this way. I do have a hard time doing that. I’m getting better with age. I’m getting better, Bob. Wait, there’s one more thing. There’s one thing I want to add, to this protocol is the strain-counter strain in the acute phase is very simple to do. It’s also called positional release. If you look up Bob and Brad and put positional release, I think some of those videos would be useful.
Bob: Did we do hamstring though for it?
Brad: Yes, I believe we did. If not, I’m going to do it.
Bob: Okay, I’ll have to look that up because I don’t think you did it yet because I want my wife to do it. I was showing her different ways to do it.
Brad: Well, I’m doing it to myself right now and it’s been very effective.
Bob: You’re doing it with the strap?
Brad: Yes, that’s what I was doing the other day.
Bob: Okay. Remember, Brad and I can fix just about anything,
Brad: Except for,
Bob: A broken heart. We’ll work on it.
Brad: We have to start rehearsing these things.
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