Home Remedies for Muscle Strains

Muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or its tendon – the strong band of tissue connecting a muscle to a bone. The symptoms that you may have depend on the severity of your muscle strain. Doing simple home remedies for mild muscle strain may just be enough to help manage your symptoms.

What you can do for your muscle strain

Follow the RICE principle of therapy for minor injuries. RICE stands for rest, ice application, compression, and elevation. Some may advice using PRICE, with P as acronym for protection from further injury.

  • Rest

    At the time of your injury, you should stop your activity and rest. Protect the injured area from further injury. Continuing your activity through your pain may result in further muscle damage and delayed healing. While you rest, apply ice to your injured area.

  • Ice

    Apply an ice pack or cold compress to your injured muscle. When using an ice pack, wrap the pack with towel before applying on your injury. Avoid direct application of the pack or ice to your skin as this may result in frostbite injury. Icing helps decrease pain and minimizes or prevents swelling.

    Apply ice for not more than 20 minutes at a time, every three to four hours for the first few days (2-3 days) following your injury. When your pain and swelling subside, you can now apply a hot pack to help increase blood flow to your injured muscle and hasten healing. The hot pack should still be wrapped with towel.

  • Compression

    Apply compression bandage to help minimize or prevent swelling. Use of elastic bandage should be carefully and properly done to be effective. Improper wrapping of bandage may block blood flow. If you are unsure of properly wrapping your injury with bandage, you can skip this step. You may also ask a physiotherapist or other trained professional to teach you or to do it for you.

  • Elevation

    Elevate your injured limb above the level of your heart if possible. Doing this may also help minimize formation of swelling.

Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help with your pain and swelling.

You can perform gradual stretching and progressive strengthening exercises once your symptoms have subsided. Your physiotherapist will be able to help you find safe exercises that you can perform for your muscle strain.

When to seek medical consultation

If you experience severe pain and swelling at the time of your injury, you can apply ice and immediately go to your nearest hospital for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.

See Also

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