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Pulled Muscle

By: :Quick Protein 0 comments
Pulled Muscle
If you've ever pulled a muscle before, you know the pain can come in waves of shooting discomfort. The worst part is that the injury can be anything from an occasional inconvenience to a chronic condition, requiring treatment regimes ranging from physical therapy to cortisone injections.

But pulling one's muscle isn't always as bad as it seems. There are plenty of things you can try to help it heal faster and keep it from coming back! All you need is patience and these ten solid tips for managing your pulled muscle.


1) If your injury feels hot or swollen, put ice on it at least three times per day to reduce inflammation. Apply the ice for ten to fifteen minutes at a time, and try to be as diligent about this treatment as you can. Make sure you're getting enough rest, too. Muscle tissue has slow blood circulation, so it helps to lie down and elevate the injured area whenever you can. It would help if you also avoided swelling-promoting activities like smoking or drinking coffee.

2) Get plenty of protein in your diet to help your body repair itself. If your pulled muscle is in your leg or arm, make sure to give it a good stretching out every day — the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that you flex and extend your elbow ten times each session, and perform fifteen stretches per session on any other limb.

3) Take advantage of rest to allow your body to recover. If possible, schedule fewer activities — but if you've got to be active, try to alternate between different activities and rest some days entirely. You'll also want to try stretching exercises in the morning and at night.

4) Don't push through it: if you feel any pain, consult your doctor immediately — especially if you have a recurring problem with pulled muscles. Discuss what can be done about the pain and evaluate your lifestyle choices (e.g., hours of work, amount of exercise). This is particularly important if you are already considered high risk for experiencing problems from overuse of a muscle or tendon group due to your age or gender.

5) Depending on the severity, you may need an x-ray or ultrasound to assess the damage and determine a treatment plan. In the case of a mild pull, you might need to rest and see if it works itself out. If the pain becomes more severe, though, try applying a gentle heating pad for ten minutes three times per day, taking ibuprofen to relieve pain and swelling, and using a sandbag or elastic bandage to compress your muscle for twenty minutes at a time. If none of this works, you might be looking at the surgery — as rare as that eventuality is.

6) Never try to stretch or exercise the injured muscle yourself. Stretching your muscle can make it more susceptible to injury, and overuse of an injured muscle can lead to severe damage — even resulting in permanent disability. Many injuries are best treated by your doctor — whether it's a routine office visit or an x-ray or ultrasound procedure.


7) If you have an infection, limit your activity until the infection is cleared up. Since most bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments with low oxygen levels, be sure that you're keeping good handwashing habits at home and during medical treatment for any cuts or scrapes on your skin (and wash immediately after each trip to the bathroom!).


8) Protect your muscles from further injury. For example, if you're playing sports, try to wear a brace or tape to cushion your strength.


9) If you have chronic pulled muscles from overuse or congenital problems, physical therapy may be helpful.


10) If your pulled muscle is in a joint (like a knee, hip or shoulder), you'll need to be more careful about its function when it's healing and take care not to strain it — but if the pain becomes unmanageable, see a doctor immediately.
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