Muscle strains can happen during any physical activity, from playing sports and lifting weights to reaching down to pick up dropped keys. Depending on the severity of the strain, it may be medically necessary to seek treatment immediately – urgent care will take care of assessment and treatment quickly.

Strain Severity and Symptoms

A strain happens when your muscles are overextended, overloaded, or otherwise misused. A sprain is when your muscle fibers physically tear apart from each other. Depending on how many fibers were torn, there are different tiers of severity.

Grade I

The least severe of sprains, only a couple of muscle fibers are torn. It may have lingering pain/soreness at the site of the tear, but otherwise, it’s still healthy and strong. It’s recommended to reduce physical activity to prevent exacerbation of the issue.

Grade II

More severe, meaning more muscle fibers are torn. The pain will be a lot more intense, accompanied by symptoms like a loss of strength and motion, swelling, and possibly bruising. A tear like this one will require more time to recover to full strength, possibly 2-3 weeks.

Grade III

The most severe grade possible, where the muscle tears all the way through. Commonly accompanied by a “pop” sound, the muscles will either rip into two distinct pieces or tear away from the tendon. Symptoms include complete loss of strength/motion, visible indentation where the muscle isn’t anymore, severe pain, swelling, and bruising. 

Strain Treatment

For less severe incidents, it’s recommended to stop or ease up on physical activity to the affected muscle. The common acronym to follow is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Combined with some painkiller / NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (respectively), the problem will abide itself. Generally, when it feels better, it is better – the return of strength, range of motion, and lack of pain will mark that healing is complete.

When You Need to Visit Urgent Care

In the case of more severe Grade II or III strains, it’s crucial to seek medical examination or treatment as soon as possible. Symptoms that warrant medical treatment include:

  • Hearing a “pop” when the incident occurs
  • When pain becomes unmanageable
  • When bruising or swelling becomes extreme
  • Pain that persists for more than 48 hours
  • If an existing strain is injured again with more intense symptoms


A muscle strain on your back has many similar red flags, but also include:

  • Symptoms persisting for two weeks
  • Compound symptoms resulting from the strain, especially pain/numbness below the waist, in your groin, or in your legs.

If you notice any of these symptoms, the ER may order MRI or CT scans to determine the nature of the specific strain. Surgery to reattach the torn muscle parts and keeping it in a cast are among the more common courses of treatment. If the injury compounds with bone damage/dislocation, you may be referred to more specialists to determine the best course of treatment.

Trust Las Vegas Urgent Care to Treat Your Muscle Strain

Las Vegas Urgent Care provides all the facilities and staff to help you with all of your medical needs. Our staff has been treating the people of Las Vegas for years – and we know how to best care for your specific case. If you need medical help now, call our offices as soon as possible and we’ll get the road to recovery started the right way.