What is a ‘corked muscle’
Corked Muscles are also known as a muscle contusion, it is caused by a direct blow to the muscle causing tissue damage and bleeding within the muscle. It most commonly occurs in the thigh muscle during contact sports such as football, martial arts or sports were a firm ball is used for example cricket or hockey. The thigh muscle is the most common muscle injured however it can occur in any muscle in the body.
Contusion are graded depending on their severity:
Grade 1 – Mild contusion. Player can usually continue playing however may be sore after playing or the next day. The area may be tender to touch and some minimal loss of strength and ability to stretch maybe present.
Grade 2 – Moderate contusion. The player may be able to continue playing but will be sore after and will often limp. Will have decreased range of motion and loss of strength.
Grade 3 – Severe contusion. Very restricted range of motion and difficulty walking. Will have a functional loss of strength and be tender over a large area.
It is vitally important that contusions are managed properly as mismanagement can lead to ‘myositis ossificans’ where bone grows within the muscle. This condition is extremely painful and can require surgery.
What Can I do to help a Cork?
Basic first aid of RICE, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation are essential immediately after injury as this can significantly limit the severity of the contusion. HARM, Heat, Alcohol, Massage, Re-injury should be avoided until after 72hours. Even a grade 1 contusion requires assessment by a physiotherapist so the correct rehabilitation is followed to avoid any long-term consequences, and significantly speed the recovery process.