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Differences between a Pulled Muscle and a Pinched Nerve

Differences between a Pulled Muscle and a Pinched Nerve

Though they are often used interchangeably, myalgia and fibromyalgia are two distinct conditions. Myalgia is typically a short-term condition caused by muscle overuse or injury, while fibromyalgia is a long-term, chronic disorder that results in widespread pain and tenderness. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, it’s important to understand the difference between these two conditions and get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

What is a Pulled Muscle?

  • When you hear the term “pulled muscle,” you might think of a severe injury that requires a trip to the hospital. However, Pulled muscles are actually quite common and usually not serious. A pulled muscle occurs when the muscle is stretched beyond its limit, causing small tears in the muscle tissue.
  • This can happen due to a sudden movement, such as when you reach for something that’s just out of reach, or it can happen gradually over time, such as from repeated poor posture.
  • Pulled muscles can range from mild to severe, and usually, heal on their own within a few days to a week. However, if the pain is severe or if you have difficulty moving the affected area, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out other possible conditions. Pulled muscles may not be serious, but they can still be quite painful. So, if you think you might have pulled a muscle, take it easy and give your body time to heal.

What is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve is a condition that occurs when there is compression or irritation of a nerve. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as bone spur formation, herniated discs, or joint inflammation. Pinched nerves can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. In some cases, the symptoms may be severe enough to cause functional impairment. Treatment for a pinched nerve depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, simple measures such as rest and ice therapy can be effective. However, in other cases, more aggressive treatment such as physical therapy or surgery may be necessary.

Differences between a Pulled Muscle and a Pinched Nerve

  • Pulled muscles and pinched nerves are both common injuries that can cause pain and restricted movement. However, there are some important differences between the two. Pulled muscles occur when the fibers of the muscle are stretched or torn.
  • This usually happens as a result of overuse or sudden trauma. Pinched nerves, on the other hand, occur when the nerve is compressed or stretched. This can happen due to a herniated disc, bone spur, or other tissue pressing on the nerve.
  • Both pulled muscles and pinched nerves can be extremely painful, but pinched nerves often cause additional symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis.


Although the symptoms of a pulled muscle and a pinched nerve can be very similar, there are some key differences between the two. If you’re experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling in an arm or leg, it’s important to seek medical attention right away to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment. Thanks for reading!

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