MRI Diagnosis – The Difference Between Muscle Strains and Tears

by | May 14, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of the most common injuries experienced by people of all ages — whether physically active or not — is muscle strains. However, these strains can occur on a spectrum, meaning you could experience it in its mildest form, or it could go as far as a severe injury, which is a fully torn muscle. 

Since people experience pain differently, it’s quite hard to differentiate a muscle strain from a tear. Simply asking patients to rate their pain, ten being the highest, won’t necessarily tell you if they’re experiencing mild, moderate, or severe pain. 

Thankfully, MRI scanners can help you diagnose a muscle strain from a tear. MRI parts, scanners, and coils are incredibly powerful tools that help take highly detailed pictures of muscles, tissues, ligaments, and more, allowing doctors to properly diagnose a patient. 


What Happens During a Muscle Strain?

A muscle strain or pulled muscle can happen to anyone, but if you play sports regularly, you’re at higher risk. Muscle strains happen when you overuse your muscles and don’t stretch them enough.

Muscle strains can affect any part of the body, but it often happens in the hamstring area since these can get overused even when you’re not playing sports. 


Muscle Strains vs. Tears: How Does It Feel?

A tear is a type of muscle strain. And with that being said, knowing the severity of muscle strains is important, so you know what you’re dealing with in the future.

  • Grade I Strain: A mild strain or injury with minimal stretching or tearing in the muscle fiber. There is tenderness in the area; however, their muscle’s strength isn’t compromised.
  • Grade II Strain: A bit more painful than Grade I, this type of strain has more muscle fibers stretched. Additionally, patients may experience bruising, swelling, and loss of strength.
  • Grade III Strain: The severe type of strain is a complete tear of the muscle. This means the patient has intense pain, swelling, trouble moving, and more. 


When Should I Get Medical Assistance?

If you think your patient might have a severe case or Grade III muscle strain, seeking medical assistance right away is recommended, especially when there are notable bursts of sharp pain and you can’t move the injured area. However, if their symptoms are mild or moderate, resting that area for a couple of days should be fine.

But remember that if their symptoms last for more than two weeks, they need to get medical care, regardless of the severity of their muscle strain. 


Do I Need to Get an MRI?

Thankfully, doctors can diagnose your strain based on your past physical exams. However, it’s still a good idea to get an MRI exam since it can fully examine the tissue, ensuring you give your patients the proper diagnoses and recommendations.

MRI scanners can identify even the smallest strains and determine if they’ve experienced a complete or partial strain. 


The Bottom Line: Using the Best Equipment for Diagnosis Can Help You Get the Right Treatment

As mentioned earlier, MRI scanners can help doctors properly diagnose your conditions. With that being said, getting an MRI exam to identify the severity of your patient’s strains will allow you to manage their injuries and help them recover as quickly as possible. 


How Can We Help You?

If you’re looking for a CT or MRI scanner for your medical establishment, or you need specific parts to upgrade your existing machine, look no further — DirectMed Parts is here to help.

We are the most trusted and knowledgeable source for medical imaging parts and services. We offer CT and MRI parts and coils while understanding the importance of working with service professionals, providing exemplary service and delivery. 

Check out our medical imaging parts today!

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