Muscle pulls or strains are a very common things today. Especially in sports Muscle pull or strain is a regular phenomenon as the muscle get fatigued and are more prone to strain. Insufficient warm-up, over fatigues muscles, improper movements are all major reasons of muscle pull or strains. A strain (also known colloquially as a pulled muscle or torn muscle) is an acute or chronic soft tissue injury that occurs to a muscle, tendon, or both (contractile components). The equivalent injury to a ligament is a sprain.
The damage done to the muscle can either be mild to moderate strain which can be treated at home with the help of ice and heat therapy that will help heal them. Severe strains will need medical attention which can even go further to a surgery.
Symptoms of a strain include: Sudden experience of pain, soreness, bruising or discoloration, swelling, reduced range of motion muscle spasms, Stiffness, weakness. A good way to judge your injury would be to understand the level of stiffness that you fell in the injured part. If there is some amount of range of motion and you see that you are able to manage will typically be a minor to moderate strain while a severe strain would completely restrict your movement and become extremely stiff.
Major strains or pulls happen during rigorous sporting activities. Injuries that go unnoticed result in severe injuries which would require medical attention. Resting your muscles in any case would be the ideal way to ensure healing. Applying ice directly after the injury prevents swelling, although applying ice directly onto the skin might be difficult, hence use a ice pack instead.