Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

All Archived Updates for:

The Complete Guide to Muscle Strains

This page lists all 56 updates for one book on, The Complete Guide to Muscle Strains For a more general summary of everything new around PainScience — recent updates for all articles, new articles, blog posts, and new study summaries, see What’s New on

  1. Dec 25, 2021 — Upgraded, water and electrolytes chapter — Added much more information about magnesium: cramping, supplementation, and dietary sources. Also beefed up the warning about excessive hydration and its effect on electrolytes (hyponatremia).
  2. Dec 25, 2021 — More information, epsom salts — Added information about the role of magnesium.
  3. Dec 25, 2021 — Upgraded, spasm chapter — More and clearer information. A new citation to some basic spasm science.
  4. Oct 14, 2021 — Correction — I misinterpreted a study of the relationship between range of motion and recovery time. While the general principle was sound — greater ROM loss correlates strongly with recovery time) — my more specific “rule of thumb” based on it was a bit wonky. So I fixed that.
  5. Jan 21, 2021 — More info, strength chapter — More detailed information and advice about training for “muscle balance” between the quads and hamstrings.
  6. Nov 12, 2020 — New chapter, injury warning signs —
  7. Jul 11, 2020 — Major upgrade — Added a bunch of new information about conventional risk factors.
  8. Jun 30, 2020 — Improvements — Science updates, updated side effect information, and just generally more detail.
  9. Jun 6, 2020 — Major revision, spasm section — Information about spasms and cramps is now more detailed and nuanced. Some significant modernization was needed.
  10. May 4, 2020 — Upgrade, diagnosis — Clarification what different combinations of strength and pain might mean.
  11. May 1, 2020 — Upgraded — Major improvements and clarifications, inspired by some good scholarly debate about the classification of muscle injuries. A formal classification of some muscle injuries as “functional” is an interesting and useful way to introduce the subtopic of trigger points, and to put it in the context of a book about structural muscle injury.
  12. May 1, 2020 — Science update, definition of strain — Added a good new citation about the definition/classification of strain, clarified the unclear nature of “strain,” and introduced the idea of other kinds of muscle injury.
  13. Mar 2, 2020 — Science update — Added a citation about the safety of BFR training (it’s not entirely safe, turns out).
  14. Feb 6, 2020 — Science update — Added some information about the potential harms of platelet-rich plasma injection.
  15. Jan 6, 2020 — Science update — Just added a couple references.
  16. Jan 5, 2020 — New chapter, diagnostic ultrasound —
  17. Sep 28, 2019 — New section, about pathological vulnerability to strains —
  18. Jul 20, 2019 — Editing, muscle flossing chapter — Polish, some more details, and better integration into the book.
  19. Jul 20, 2019 — Editing, strength chapter — Polish, some more details, and better integration into the book.
  20. May 18, 2019 — Major enhancement, strength training section — Added an extremely useful evidence-based strength training recommendation. This is as good as any update gets!
  21. Jan 8, 2019 — Like new, blood flow restriction training — Substantial expansion of my coverage of this topic.
  22. Nov 23, 2018 — New section, Electric exercise: electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) —
  23. Sep 23, 2018 — New section, laser therapy —
  24. Apr 27, 2018 — Science update, platelet-rich plasma section — Added a highly relevant citation to Grassi et al.
  25. Feb 28, 2018 — Cleanup, preventing re-injury — No new science, but a bunch of clarifications and editorial improvements. It’s a clearer and more useful section.
  26. Feb 28, 2018 — New tips, healing time section — Added two evidence-based tips to help estimate how long a strain takes to heal.
  27. Nov 18, 2017 — Expanded — Added some substance, mainly citing and discussing Ramos et al on the lack of evidence for common treatments. It’s still a short introduction to the second half to the book , but not as absurdly brief as it was.
  28. Nov 18, 2017 — Improvements — Added more information about swelling and muscle deformation.
  29. Jan 6, 2017 — Science update — Added a very interesting good-news reference that actually provides some decent support for massaging strains.
  30. Jul 8, 2016 — Expanded — New evidence-based prevention risks and tips.
  31. Dec 8, 2015 — Minor science update — Citation of Collins 2008 and Bleakley 2012, reviewing icing evidence (or the lack of it), and a few related edits.
  32. Feb 11, 2015 — Expanded — Added discussion of surprising data about rates of reinjury.
  33. Feb 10, 2015 — Expanded — More than doubled the size of the section with an interesting addition: “Rupture: not as obvious as you’d think!”
  34. Sep 5, 2014 — Like new — New, but shorter: just a topic summary now, linking to a main, free article.
  35. Apr 16, 2014 — Science update — More perspective and detailed information on stretching for recovery.
  36. Dec 24, 2013 — Science update — A (slightly) good news science update about the effect of stretching on recovery.
  37. Oct 23, 2013 — Minor update — Added a couple paragraphs about exactly where in a muscle strains tend to occur, and why.
  38. Jul 3, 2013 — Major update — Much more detailed and evidence-based tips for estimating recovery time.
  39. Mar 29, 2013 — Minor update — Upgraded risk and safety information about Voltaren Gel.
  40. Mar 30, 2012 — New section —
  41. Nov 2, 2011 — Update — Rewritten and expanded with important evidence about how stretching does not prevent strain injuries.
  42. Jul 14, 2011 — Minor update — Added a (very) funny clip from the TV show Glee.
  43. Jun 21, 2011 — Major update — Major improvements to the table of contents, and the display of information about updates like this one. Sections now have numbers for easier reference and bookmarking. The structure of the document has really been cleaned up in general, making it significantly easier for me to update the tutorial — which will translate into more good content for readers. Care for more detail? Really? Here’s the full announcement.
  44. Jun 8, 2011 — New artwork — Added a nice new diagram of strain severity.
  45. Mar 12, 2011 — New section —
  46. Jan 18, 2011 — New section — Some useful new information about how to estimate healing time more accurately.
  47. Oct 5, 2010 — New section — Another new section and yet more good new evidence about prevention.
  48. Sep 15, 2010 — New section — New section based on solid new evidence about prevention.
  49. Aug 6, 2010 — New cover — At last! E-book finally has a “cover.”
  50. Apr 9, 2010 — New section —
  51. Oct 1, 2009 — Added a and included Voltaren® Gel, an excellent treatment option for muscle strain that only recently got into my radar. You can read about Voltaren in a free article as well as here in the tutorial, but the tutorial covers the topic specifically as it relates to muscle strain.
  52. Apr 8, 2009 — Added about a new treatment for muscle strains, a drug called “suramin,” that may be slightly miraculous. For a little while, you can read about this for free on the front page of
  53. Apr 1, 2009 — The visual design of the site was upgraded over the past several days. Although this is not an update to the content of this tutorial, it is nevertheless a significant upgrade for all of them — like publishing new editions of books with better typesetting and layout. The new design is even cleaner and reader-friendly; it now looks that good in most web browsers; and pages load as much as 50% faster. Many under-the-hood improvements will make it much easier for me to improve tutorial content. The tutorials are now well-oiled machines of digital publishing goodness, vastly superior to the low-production values of most eBooks. More information about the upgrade is published on the front page.
  54. Feb 3, 2009 — Added a small new section about Traumeel, a popular but questionable remedy that I often get asked about. See the section, “,” or the free article, Does Arnica Gel Work for Pain?.
  55. Dec 4, 2008 — It’s been a long time since the last update to this tutorial! It doesn’t get much love, because muscle strain is actually pretty straightforward compared to the other subjects I write about. Most of the complexity of treating muscle strain concerns its interactions with trigger points, and that is what this update is about! I recently published a (free) article about a serious shoulder injury I suffered (not a strain, but same difference) which became even more seriously complicated by the formation of trigger points. I’ve integrated some of these ideas, and a nice new graph, into the muscle strain tutorial in the section, “”. You can also read the story of my own injury, Muscle Pain as an Injury Complication: The story of how I finally “miraculously” recovered from the pain of a serious shoulder injury, long after the injury itself had healed.
  56. Nov 21, 2007 — This tutorial has been around for quite a while (2 or 3 years I think), but I just started tracking changes! I made a bunch of improvements to the introductory sections so that it’s clearer who the tutorial is for. Also beefed up descriptions of conditions that get mistaken for muscle strain.