Is Muscle Sprain Treatment?
Overexerting your body can lead to numerous injuries. A muscle strain, or pulled muscle,
occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This can be minor and like
soreness after an intense workout, or it can be so severe that it needs
Muscle strains are a very common injury. Most people who
participate in sports have experienced it at some point in their lives. Poor
conditioning, fatigue, and an improper warmup can lead to a muscle strain.
When muscle strain occurs, people often report a popping or
snapping sensation. This is the feeling of the muscle tissue being stretched
until it snaps. This is often a very painful experience. Strains most commonly
occur in the:
- lower back
- hamstring muscle, which is located in the back of
There are several different ways to treat muscle sprains. The
extent of the treatment depends on the extent of the strain.
Do You Need Treatment for Muscle Strain?
Diagnosing and treating a muscle strain:
- alleviates pain and inflammation
- reduces the risk of further injury
- helps you regain full use of your body
- gives your body a chance to rest and heal properly
Without proper treatment, you may experience recurring injuries
or pain and weakness in the muscle during everyday use. It can be especially
painful during exercise and athletic activities.
Surgery is necessary to repair a muscle that’s torn as opposed to
one that’s strained. Surgery is typically the last resort for muscle injuries.
Most muscle strains don’t require professional medical treatment.
Properly treating muscle strain requires the right supplies and a comfortable
place to rest. You may need the following supplies:
- plastic bag
- compression bandage, such as an ACE bandage
Depending on the muscle affected, you may need assistive devices
to help stabilize the muscle, especially if it affects one of the limbs. These
- a sling
- a brace
- a wheelchair
With proper treatment, all of these devices are temporary.
According to the American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the most common and effective treatment for
muscle strains is the RICE method. The individual letters of RICE stand for
rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In particular, RICE involves the following:
- Rest by taking an adequate amount of time to
heal and avoiding physical activity. This can help strained muscles and other
- Ice your muscle by using cold packs with a
barrier between them and your skin four to eight times per day for 20 minutes
at a time.
- Compress your muscle by applying a steady,
gentle pressure on it. This prevents swelling and inflammation, which delay
healing. Wrapping an elastic bandage around the affected muscle is best.
- Elevate the injury above your heart to reduce
swelling. Use pillows or other devices to raise an affected limb while you
Anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or
aspirin can help reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy may also be needed.
Surgery is the typical treatment for torn or ruptured muscles. You and your
doctor will discuss all surgical or nonsurgical options available to repair
of Muscle Strain Treatment
There are very few risks of treating a muscle strain. However,
there’s a small chance of taking too many painkillers or leaving an ice pack on
the skin for too long. Always follow dosage instructions on all prescription or
over-the-counter medications. Use a barrier such as a towel between an ice pack
and your skin. Allow your skin to warm up in between icing intervals.
Surgery to repair a torn muscle carries certain risks. These can
- blood clots
- slowed healing time
The last thing you want to do is reinjure a strained muscle.
There are several ways you can prevent a muscle strain from recurring, including:
- allowing for proper time to heal from an injury
- stretching your muscles daily
- cross-training for sports by weightlifting or
choosing another activity to strengthen your muscles
- warming up before exercise or intense activity
- eating foods high in potassium, like bananas and
avocados, before exercise to prevent muscle fatigue
- properly hydrating during exercise
Talk to your doctor about what steps you can take to avoid muscle
strains if you experience them regularly. If you have a muscle tear that
requires surgery, medication or physical therapy may be necessary after your
procedure. Your doctor will provide specific follow-up instructions based on
the type and severity of your injury.