Strain

About the Disorder

Muscles are anatomical tissues consisting in a set of bundles, i.e. a group of cylindrical part, which in turn are formed by  muscle cells, called muscle fibres. Each muscle fibre contains thousands of myofibrils, of variable length (up to 30 cm) and diameter, according to the specific type of muscle (skeletal muscles, myocardial striated muscles, smooth muscles); according to their physiological characteristics and anatomical function, they  can be distinguished in slow fibres and resistant against fatigue, fast and resistant fibres, fast and scarcely resistant fibres, average fibres.

Each muscle is therefore suitable to carry out a certain function according to its speed of contraction and resistance to fatigue.

Muscle strain occurs when, following an incorrect, abrupt or too fast movement, fibres making up the bundles break. This typically happens to sportsmen, either due to insufficient or lack of training or inadequate warm-up before doing physical exercise: the muscle is “cold”, i.e. not ready to carry out the required movements and to support effort and fatigue required.

 According to the number of damaged fibres, muscle strains can be classified as follows:

  • Grade 1 strain  (overstretched muscle):  a limited number of fibres are damaged (less than 5% out of the total) and there is no pain, only an uneasy feeling when the muscle affected contracts.
  • Grade 2 strain: a higher number of fibres is damaged (entire bundles) and marked pain occurs after muscular contraction; the muscle remains contracted, rigid and painful also while at rest. Swelling and oedema are also possible.
  • Grade 3 strain: the lesion involves the whole muscle and can be felt externally because a concavity forms following the retraction of the two ends of the damaged fibres. In this case, too, there is rigidity and the patient cannot move, as well as oedema, swelling, and pain also while at rest; additionally, since this is the most serious among the three grades of muscle strains, the close network of capillaries bringing blood to the muscle can break as well, leading to the ouflow of blood which is visibile on the surface of the skin with the presence of hematomas.

Muscles most likely to be affected are those belonging to the limbs, in particular the flexor, adductor and quadriceps in the thighs; the triceps surea in the calves; the biceps and deltoid in the arms.

Predisposing factors can be cold temperatures, humidity, fatigue and possible alterations to the exchange in carbon layers, abrupt movements, excessive strain.

Treatment of muscle strains with conventional medicine

 In the event of muscle strains, the first thing to do is stop the activity, immobilise and stretch the muscle affected as much as possible. To provide immediate relief and limit outflow of blood from capillaries, it is recommended to apply some ice (also in spray).

Also in these cases, traditional medicine resorts to anti-inflammatory and myorelaxant medicines so as to alleviate symptoms of pain and inflammation.

Such anti-inflammatory medicines, though often useful in bringing relief from pain, are, however, responsible for a long series of side-effects, all the more serious according to the length of intake period. Such side effects are essentially linked to the fact that the anti-inflammatory activity is carried out through a sole active principle which, not being selective, in addition to promoting the primary pharmacological activity (by reducing inflammation and pain), ends up altering several physiological mechanisms, leading to countless secondary activities.

 In case of sprains, medicines most commonly prescribed are non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs, an acronym standing for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medicines), for instance  those containing active principles such as acetyl salicylic acid, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, nimesulide, etc., i.e. widely recommended medicines that act by inhibiting synthesis of chemical mediators called “prostaglandins”: such action is at the origin of both pharmacological activity as well as numerous side-effects.

To comprehend just how this is possible it must be borne in mind that prostaglandins carry out multiple organic functions: there are, in fact, “bad” prostaglandins (though it is not technically correct to call them this way) as they cause the insurgence of inflammation, hyperalgesia, fever; but there are also “good” prostaglandins, carrying out multiple physiological activities: they promote protection of the stomach from gastric juices, they regulate renal blood flow, uterine contractions, platelet activity, etc.

That being said, it is clear that use of so-called NSAIMs, often turning into an “abuse” given their being easy to retrieve, is inevitably connected to several side-effects. Examples thereof are: inhibition of gastric protection, with consequences ranging from simple irritations to lesions, ulcera and gastrointestinal hemorrhage, inhibition of platelet aggregation, renal ischaemia, generic nephropathy and renal failure, etc.

 Myorelaxant medicines are surely not free from side-effects, for instance diarrhoea, gastralgia and heartburn after oral administration; regarding intramuscular treatment, there have been cases of malaise, sleepiness, hypotension, fainting and skin rashes.

This is why it is important to have available a valid, natural alternative that can offer relief to painful symptoms and to rigidity connected to the problem of muscle sprains, while being free of side effects at the same time.

Nature can help you in case of muscle sprains

Our Approach

A natural and effective approach

In order to counter, day by day, typical symptoms of muscle sprain, such as inflammation, pain, oedema and swelling , thereby avoiding to have to resort to medicines or at least reducing their intake, nature can be of valuable help, thanks to an exclusive formulation based on a selection of plant ingredients with markedly anti-inflammatory properties.

First and foremost among these is BIOSTERINE®, a unique and innovative phytocompound, consisting in 80% Ocimum sanctum (Holy Basil) extract and 20% Salvia officinalis extract, characterized by an extremely high titration in Rosmarinic Acid (40%), obtained through a particular extraction process developed by Prodeco Pharma.

BIOSTERINE® and muscle sprain  

BIOSTERINE® not only combines the recognized, anti-inflammatory properties of phytocomplexes contained in Holy Basil and Salvia Officinalis, but actually amplifies and reinforces them, thanks to the high concentration of Rosmarinic Acid. Numerous studies have, in fact, confirmed the extraordinary properties of Rosmarinic Acid as an anti-inflammatory, investigating its potential mechanisms of action.

Rosmarinic Acid’s ability to inhibit inflammatory processes linked to the “complement system” (part of the immune system involved in the inflammatory process); besides this specific mechanism of action, considered to be primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of Rosmarinic Acid, it also acts by regulating cyclooxygenase, modulating synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins (it has been pointed out that Rosmarinic acid contained in Ocimum sanctum exerts a 58% inhibiting action on cyclooxygenase).

The inflammatory efficacy of Ocimum sanctum extracts has turned out to be comparable with that of ibuprofen, of naproxen and of acetylsalicylic acid, yet without any side effects whatsoever: the presence, in the phytocomplex, of other active constituents, in fact, enables  harmonization and modulation of the inflammatory action, with the typical harmful effects reported on synthetic medicines.

This discovery confirms traditionally used Ocimum sanctum as a safe, reliable and effective anti-inflammatory. The action of rosmarinic acid is also exerted through inhibition of hyaluronidase, an enzyme responsible for the degradation of hyaluronic acid, essential for the integrity of connective tissues, in particular cartilages . These properties in particular confer rosmarinic acid with a protective role of tissues, mostly joint tissues, and combines well with its anti-inflammatory substances.

 Due to the above-mentioned considerations, in association with specific plant extracts, BIOSTERINE® therefore represents the cornerstone of

a natural approach to eliminate inflammation and pain, day by day, alleviating typical symptoms connected to muscle sprain, yet without generating any side-effects.

Nature can help you with…                   

BIOSTERINE®: as already highlighted, with its powerful health properties as an anti-inflammatory, BIOSTERINE® represents the starting point of our approach. Taken systemically, BIOSTERINE® exerts a marked anti-inflammatory action and reduces phlogosis of tissues affected. Its association with other specific, natural principles, makes it possible to reach even more remarkable results.

Boswellia extract possesses recognised anti-inflammatory properties and is particularly effective in painful pathologies affecting the musculo-skeletal apparatus. Its activity is attributable to the presence, in its phytocomplex, of particular compounds called boswellic acids. Numerous clinical studies have confirmed its efficacy, comparable to synthetic medicines, yet without causing any side-effects whatsoever.

The idea of including in the formulation both the dry extract with high titration in boswellic acids (75%) as well as the powder of the whole plant has proven to be a successful one. In fact, this association enables to obtain, on the one hand, adequate supply of “nobler” forms of active constituents (boswellic acids), ensuring efficacy; on the other it makes it possible to have the entire phytocomplex, for a synergistic and, at the same time, “smoother” effect on the organism, thereby ensuring that the product will be totally  free from side-effects, also in the long run.

Turmeric: turmeric is used in phytotherapy for the treatment of several pathologies involving inflammations, including ostheoarthritis. Its anti-inflammatory action is attributable in particular to the presence of particular substances called curcuminoids. Research has pointed out that efficacy of turmeric extract is linked to its activity on several physiological mechanisms involved in the inflammatory process.

Turmeric therefore acts on the inflammation with a 360° mechanism, without causing any side-effect. Some of the fundamental mechanisms involved are as follows:

  1. a) inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 and lipoxygenase enzymes, with a resulting reduced production of prostaglandins and other inflammatory chemical mediators;
  2. b) inhibition of the release of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines and interleukins;
  3. c) inhibition of the production of cell adhesion molecules involved in the early phase of the inflammatory cascade;
  4. d) inhibition of collagen degradation. The idea of including in the formulation both the dry extract, with high titration in curcuminoids (95%), as well as the powder of the entire plant has been a successful one: in fact, this association ensures maximum efficacy and lack of any side-effect whatsoever.

 Hyaluronic Acid: its physiological function is to maintain the right level of hydration in the connective tissue. If moreover acts as a cementing substance and as a kind of shock absorbing molecule, as well as being an efficient lubricant (synovial fluid/joints), preventing tissue damage. Its function is therefore fundamental for the health and functionality of the skeletal tissue and of the joints.

For this reason, Hyaluronic Acid has been used since it was first discovered to treat joint disorders. Besides the excellent results obtained following its use in intra-articular infiltrations, it has recently been studied to verify its efficacy for oral intake.

Regarding the formulation, Hyaluronic Acid is therefore used in association with Biosterine®, Boswellia and Turmeric, to complete the anti-inflammatory activity of the product. Another activity of Hyaluronic acid has recently been identified, making it particularly useful within the formulation: as a carrier of active molecules to increase bioavailability, once ingested and hydrated, Hyaluronic Acid forms a bioadhesive matrix bringing the active constituents into the solution and promoting its gradual release, saturating the mucosa and increasing contact time between active constituents and the intestinal mucosa itself.

It therefore ensures complete absorption of all constituents present in the phytocomplexes included (Biosterine®, Boswellia e Curcuma), optimizing their bioavailability and enhancing their efficacy.

The ideal form of intake of such plant ingredients is represented by swallowable tablets.

Lifestyle

Nutritional lifestyle adopted has a significant impact on all muscular-skeletal inflammatory problems. Even though often triggered an incorrect, abrupt or too fast movement, muscle sprain is no exception. Eliminating, or at least reducing foodstuffs that accentuate the chronic inflammatory state of the organism can led to remarkable benefits. In fact, certain foodstuffs act on our organism with a “pro-inflammatory” mechanism, contributing not only to trigger but to aggravate painful-inflammatory symptoms characterizing such disorders.

Primarily responsible in this sense are foodstuffs of animal origin, with the exception of fish (which, on the contrary, being rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, exerts an ant-inflammatory action); meat (in particular red meat) and eggs, instead are rich in arachidonic acid, a precurosor of numerous inflammatory mediators which are produced, in the so-called “inflammatory cascade”, by the activity of cyclo-oxygenase and lipo-oxygenase enzymes.

However, the foodstuff mostly responsible for the insurgence of many inflammatory diseases, whether chronic or acute, is undoubtedly milk, together with all its derivatives. It is now certain that milk favours the increase of intestinal permeability and the introduction, in the bloodstream of proteins – particularly casein, which trigger in the organism an immune stimulation, causing sensitization and a defensive, inflammatory response.

There is countless clinical evidence, as highlighted, for instance, in the book “Il mal di latte” (Milk sick) by Lorenzo Acerra (Marco ed.), mentioning cases in which arthritic patients, or subjects suffering from other kinds of muscular-skeletal problems, have improved their condition following the adoption of a diet that eliminated milk and dairy products; by contrast, reintroducing milk has led to the reappearance of symptoms.

In a natural approach aimed at solving osteo-articular and/or muscular problems, it is impossible not to recommend eliminating milk and its derivatives from the diet, as well as reducing consumption of animal proteins.

 As a matter of fact, it is important to always remember that it is only by adopting a correct diet that the course of an illness can be changed, reducing the intensity and number of physical ailments present, extending periods of well-being and reducing relapse phases.

In brief, the following dietary programme is recommended:

 FOODS TO AVOID

  • Simple sugars (white sugar, glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, sorbitol, mannitol, lactose, galactose, maple juice, agave juice, honey, molasses)
    • Milk and dairy products
    • Packaged, preserved, refined food and drinks
    • Foods to which you are intolerant or allergic
    • Red meat

FOODS TO CONSUME WITH CAUTION

  • Refined cereals (white bread, pasta and glazed rice)
    • Whole cane sugar (only if necessary)
    • White meat and eggs (organic)

RECOMMENDED FOODS

  • Foods rich in fibres (preferably seasonal vegetables and legumes)
    • Seasonal fruit
    • Whole grain cereals and pasta (kamut, spelt, rye, oats, etc.)
    • Bluefish
    • Oleaginous seeds (nuts, almonds, sesame, sunflower)
    • Linseed and olive oil from first cold pressing

WATER

Drink at least two litres of water daily, at ambient temperature and away from meals, choosing water with fixed residue levels below 50 mg/L and with pH lying between 6 and 7.