If you’re into sports, you probably have exposed yourself to a lot of injury risks. Along with the common sprain and other aches and pains, the usual injury is the pulled muscle. Muscles are composed of fibers that run through the length of two points. They are usually anchored to major prominences on bones and they make the movements of the body possible.
When the muscle is overly stretched past its limits, this could cause discomfort to you. This can be quite painful and may result to symptoms such as inflammation, myalgia (or muscle pain) as well as warmth in the affected area.
Taking care of a pulled muscle is something that should be common knowledge for all athletes whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional. Here are the steps that you have to do to take care of a pulled muscle:
- If you feel like you’ve pulled a muscle, you should immediately stop playing and excuse yourself from the game. You wouldn’t know the extent of the injury for sure so it’s better to err on the side of caution.
- Apply a cold compress to the muscle to keep the swelling down. Inflammation is a normal body response to injury but it can keep you from moving easily from one place to another. Applying a cold compress can buy you time.
- Take an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, mefenamic acid or naproxen. These three pills can get the swelling down and at the same time afford relief for the pain.
- Rest. Nothing really makes a muscle injury heal faster than good old fashioned bed rest. When resting, you may elevate the injured body part above your heart to reduce the swelling. This also reduces the amount of lymph going to the are and prevents it from accumulating.
- If the pain worsens and the injury seems to be not improving after a week, you may have to visit a doctor. An orthopaedic surgeon is the professional that is best equipped to deal with these sorts of problems.
- To prevent a pulled muscle, always do the necessary stretching exercises prior to the game. Warming up and stretching makes the muscles more stretchable and this also raises the temperature of the muscles making them less likely to be shocked by the physical activity.
- Do not try to rush back in to the game or in to exercising when recovering from an injury. It would be harder to bounce back from an aggravated injury or a torn muscle if you do not wait for the muscle to heal.
Having a pulled muscle can be a painful and frustrating ordeal for someone who wants to sweat it out on the court or run around the track but it will be even harder for you if you don’t rest the injury. Muscles can repair themselves but only if you allow them the time and the circumstances to fix themselves up. Just be patient and you will be back in the gym in no time.