3-Step Treatment for Strained Muscles

3-Step Treatment for Strained Muscles

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  1. A strained muscle, also known as a pulled muscle, is one of the most common sports injuries.  Stretching a muscle beyond its comfortable limits, poor body mechanics when working out, and too much impact during cardio exercise or lifting an object that is too heavy can cause small tears to occur within the muscle fibers.

    Symptoms of a strained muscle  are:                                                                                                

    ·         Pain

    ·         Swelling or Inflammation

    ·         Tightness

    ·         Stiffness

    ·         Heat radiating from area

    ·         Bruising

    ·         Impaired muscle functions during exercise or daily usage

    The most frequently pulled muscles are:  pulled hamstrings, groin muscles, pulled calf or quad muscles; pulled low back, shoulder and neck muscles.

    There are several steps to treat pulled muscles at home, depending upon the severity of the injury. 

    Step 1 – Treatment

    REST is the first step in the early recovery phase (1-5 days). Immobilization is not always recommended. However, it is good to avoid workouts until the pain subsides. If the strain occurs in an area on the arms or legs, it is important to elevate the extremity to reduce swelling and elevate some of the pressure.  

    ICE the area to reduce pain and swelling. According to http://orthopedics.about.com, you should begin icing as soon as possible after sustaining a muscle pull. Ice applications can be done frequently, but should not be done for more than 15-minutes per application. Applying ice while you rest and elevate saves time.

    ANTI-INFALMATORY MEDS help to alleviate painful symptoms and reduce swelling.  Always remember to check with your doctor before taking anti-inflammatory medications; unless you have already taken them in the past and know what works for you with the least amount of side-effects. Anti-Inflammatory medications such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc; helps to reduce inflammation and to inhibit pain signals to the brain. They sometimes work as well as rest, ice and elevation for people with busy schedules.

    Step 2 – Strengthening

    STRENGTENING is very important after the swelling subsides. Strengthening an injured muscle before returning to athletic activities not only facilitates the healing process, but it also helps to prevent future injuries from occurring. Light weights or the use of body weight as resistance is recommended.  Be sure to avoid heavy weights and heavy impact strengthening exercises at this time of the healing process.

    Step 3 – Prevention

    Once the injured muscle has re-gained its strength, the healing process has nearly taken its course.  The final step to treating strained muscles is prevention.  Look at the area of injury as a “problem area”.  If you continue to do the same workout routine you did to injure yourself, the same results will occur. Therefore, it is important to incorporate methods to prevent injuries from occurring before your workout routine.

    GENTLE STRETCHING makes muscles more flexible, and flexible muscles are less likely to be injured during workouts or athletic events.

    HEAT makes the muscles more flexible and increases blood flow to the region. Increased blood flow brings a fresh supply of nutrient-rich blood to the area, and circulates toxins and waste back through the system for elimination. Therefore, heat applications make the muscles less susceptible to strain and injury.

    WARM UP slowly by starting your exercise at a moderate pace and use lighter weights. Then slowly increase in pounds, pace, and repetitions as you proceed with caution. 

    AVOID MUSCLE FATIGUE by slowing the pace of your workout, or taking a break during workouts. When muscles are fatigue, they can easily become more susceptible to strain and injury.

    Sometimes pulled muscles take hours to develop symptoms. Therefore is it always good to keep a high performance muscle rub on hand to apply to heavily worked muscles regions immediately after an athletic event or strenuous exercise (Especially if the workout routine is new to the body or more challenging than previous workouts).

    Biofreeze offers temporary relief for muscle sprains and spasms. It is the topical pain reliever of choice for Chiropractors, Podiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, and Athletic Trainers.

    For more information or to purchase Biofreeze log on to: http://www.sagepayments.net/eftcart/products.asp?M_id=315471591751.

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