Muscle Strain Symptoms and Treatment (Non-Surgical)
Muscle strain, also known by many people as a muscle pull, or even a muscle tear is damage that has been done to the muscle or the tendons that are attached to the muscle. Tension and pressure can be put on your muscles during activities such as lifting, pulling, exercising, playing sports, and other strenuous activities. Muscle damage could be tearing of part or all of the muscle fibers or a tearing and stretching of the attached tendons. The strain can damage the small blood vessels of the muscle and surrounding area, causing local bleeding, or bruising, and pain.
Muscle Strain Symptoms
The most commonly seen symptoms of muscle strains can include:
Swelling, bruising or redness at the site
Open sores and cuts due to the initial injury
Pain at rest due to the swelling and nerve damage
Pain during user movement of the affected muscles and tendons
Weakness of the muscle or tendons and inability to move the affected area
Muscle Strain Treatment Self-Care at Home
When it comes to treating muscle strains at home, the most common option, that usually does provide at least partial relief is to take pain medications that can help reduce the swelling and provide some relief from your symptoms and help you heal faster. Along with this you can use the RICE formula- rest, ice, compression, and elevation:
Rest the strained muscle and protect it from further damage. Avoid the activities which resulted in the injury and stay off the affected area as much as possible and avoid using it as much as possible at first.
Ice the injury for 15-20 minutes every hour to help ease the pain and reduce swelling. Be sure you never put the ice directly on the skin as it can cause serious injury, instead wrap it in dish towel or pillow case before applying to the injury.
Compression means to lightly squeeze the area, which will help limit swelling. This can be achieved by gently wrapping the injured area with an Ace or other elastic bandage. If you must put pressure on the area, the compress can help provide some support.
Elevate the injured area as much as you can to decrease swelling. If possible, get the affected limb as high as possible while still being comfortable. A strained ankle can be propped up with pillows while relaxing on the couch.
Activities that pose a risk of repeat injury or that increase muscle pain are not recommended until you have healed and the pain and discomfort is much improved.
Next Step- Prevention
Help avoid repeat injury to yourself in the future by stretching daily, especially before any strenuous activities.
Start exercising on a regular basis to help strengthen the muscle and tendons and make them less prone to injury.
Wear appropriate clothing and equipment when necessary during certain activities.
If you are prone to injury- weak ankles or past injury- take measures to strengthen and protect the area during strenuous activity.
Establish a routine of health and wellness.
In most cases, with easy home based treatment, most people have a complete recovery from their muscle strain injuries. More complicated cases should be address by a health care professional. In the majority of cases, surgery is not needed.