How do I Treat a Pulled Muscle?
Depending on the severity, a pulled muscle (or muscle strain) can require different durations of treatment or physical therapy. However, in spite of differing healing times, the process to treat a pulled muscle remains pretty much the same.
First thing’s first – rest the affected muscle. You might have to rest the muscle for up to five days, though you might notice decreased pain in as little as one day. Should you require a splint or cast, seek help from a doctor, because further complications could arise from extended immobilization.
Next, you should apply ice. This helps to diminish swelling and pain, so make sure to ice injured muscles quickly. For the same reasons, you’ll want to take anti-inflammatory medication, though you will want to consult a physician to know of side effects.
After pain subsides, lightly stretch muscles to both promote healing and prevent future injury. Before returning to active use of the strained muscle, you will want to return it to full strength with some exercise. Furthermore, applying heat can help to loosen muscles, maintaining a better range of motion.
Keep in mind that fatigue opens muscles up to re-injury, so avoid over-exertion after returning to sports. Additionally, you will want to warm up before practice and games to steer clear of stiffness and re-injury.