Muscle strains are common and painful injuries that can easily be suffered at work. You could strain a muscle while lifting something that is too heavy, while running or hurrying on the job site or while slipping and falling on the stairs — just to name a few potential injury causes.

One important thing to remember is that the real toll that injury takes depends on what level of strain it is. There are three main grades used by professionals at Harvard University. They are:

  • Grade I: You suffer pain and tenderness, but you don’t actually lose any strength. You can still perform your job, albeit with the pain. You have torn or stretched just a small amount of muscle fibers.
  • Grade II: This grade damages far more fibers, and the pain is more severe. You may not be able to work. The area becomes very tender. In fact, you may notice some swelling as your body tries to heal, and the area can bruise. Moreover, you will have reduced strength that could impact physical abilities.
  • Grade III: You feel a pop as you injure the muscle, and it tears completely. It may rip away from the tendon or rip in two. This is a serious injury. Not only do you lose strength, but you may lose function entirely. The pain is extremely severe. The area becomes discolored and tender. It swells up. In the worst cases, you can actually see the rip in the muscle as a dent below the skin.

Was it someone else’s negligence that led to your injury? No matter how severe your injury is, you may be able to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages.