(HealthDay News) — Pulled muscles occur frequently in athletes. Most strains respond well to nonsurgical treatments, however, some strains can result in partial or complete tears, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The academy mentions these risk factors for muscle strain:

  • Muscle tightness. Athletes should always stretch.
  • Muscle imbalance, which can occur during high-speed activities.
  • Poor conditioning. Weak muscles are less able to cope with stress.
  • Muscle fatigue, which makes muscles more susceptible to injury.
  • Old age or adolescence.

Athletes who participate in football, soccer, basketball, running, sprinting and dancing are especially at risk and should take extra precautions, the academy says.