Pulled Muscle Treatment
The best pulled muscle treatment depends on the severity of your injury but most often it can be accomplished without surgical intervention. Muscle pulls (also called muscles strains) are very common, especially amongst athletes, and usually occur as a result of overusing the muscle, fatigue or a sudden movement under a heavy load. Every muscle in the body is vulnerable and though stretching, warming up and cooling down are excellent preventive strategies, the risk for a muscle pull is always present. If you fall victim to this injury, following a simple treatment protocol (commonly known as P.R.I.C.E) at home will have you back in commission in no time.
- Elastic compression bandage
- Protect the injury. A pulled muscle occurs when some of the fibers are overstretched. Protecting the injured muscle prevents further tearing which could otherwise result in the more severe, muscle tear, and keeps your recovery on track.
Rest the pulled muscle. It's important to rest the muscle to allow it to heal. You'll have to sit out that next game or two until the injury improves. If the pulled muscle is in a leg, your doctor may instruct you to use crutches to help you maneuver around while keeping the weight off.
Ice the muscle. Apply ice packs to the affected muscle for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. The ice reduces inflammation and relieves the pain a bit. A package of frozen vegetables is not just a popular television prop for reducing swelling, but actually a very effective tool for this application.
Apply compression to the pulled muscle. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic compression bandage, under gentle compression, supports an injured limb along with decreasing and preventing additional muscle swelling.
Keep the injured area elevated. Sitting with the pulled muscle positioned higher than your heart reduces the swelling. This is one time where being a couch potato is advised, so prop your leg up on a pillow while cheering on your latest Fantasy Football pick.
Though most pulled muscles are considered minor injuries which can be successfully treated with patience and the above protocol, it's best to check with your doctor to determine the severity of yours before proceeding. This ensures that you get the proper treatment and allows you to get back in the game as quickly as possible, while avoiding further damage.