Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

That Painful Pull


The buildup of lactic acid in anaerobic and extended aerobic exercise decreases muscle strength and coordination. A muscle that is fatigued and overstrained is more likely to tear.

Lack of flexibility can also contribute to muscle tears. Limber muscles perform better under strain than tight muscles. A prior injury may limit the full range of motion in a joint, which, in turn, can contribute to a loss of flexibility in the muscle and subsequent injury. Whether or not you've been injured, consider regular stretching an essential part of your exercise program.

To reduce your risk of tearing a muscle, always take a day off between weight-lifting sessions. Never increase both the number of repetitions and the amount of weight in the same strength-training session. Always warm up and stretch before your workout, and stretch and cool down after.

When at rest, muscles are 15 percent saturated with blood; when you're exercising, the saturation level may increase up to 72 percent. A good warm-up means gradually increasing the blood flow to your muscles. Jog in place, jump rope or ride a stationary bike until you break a sweat. At this point, you know your body has redistributed blood flow to your muscles, and they're ready to stretch.

Stretches should be a slow and steady hold - no bouncing. A slow and steady stretch slightly lengthens the muscle and prepares it for action. Now you're ready to work out.

Severe Tears

A severely torn muscle can be as painful as a broken bone and in some instances more difficult to heal. The tear occurs when the fibers of the muscle are ripped apart and bleed into the muscle compartment. All of a sudden you feel pain and lose muscle function. The blood in the muscle can inhibit healing and cause the formation of scar tissue.

You can tear a muscle anywhere along its length, including where the tendons attach muscle to bone. You may experience a tear during a sudden change of direction or a quick burst of speed in aerobics class.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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