An injury from working out is pretty common, even if it is something minor like a muscle strain. I have been really fortunate in all my years of working out that I have never experienced anything more severe than a muscle strain (besides tearing my ACL in high school, but that was activity related and more than 13 years ago). Even though it may not be considered severe, it still hurts!
How do you treat a muscle strain?
- Number one is rest. Give it a break! Your muscle needs time to repair and going out and doing a hardcore workout will not help it. Take it easy for a day or two.
- Ice. 20 minutes every hour. Use a hot/cold pack like TheraPearl. A reusable pack that can be used hot or cold and molds to your body. I have a few that have come in handy. Love this product!
- Heat after the swelling has gone down, usually at least 24 hours after the initial strain. Heat works well for muscle stain, aches, cramps, and joint stiffness. The TheraPearl products work really well for heat too, just microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- Compression can help, wrap lightly with an elastic bandage. This can help reduce swelling.
- Elevation. If you happen to have a sore leg muscle you could prop it up on a few pillows while you are sitting on a couch.
- As always, see a doctor if it isn’t getting better or you are having a constant pain. If the pain gets worse go see someone!
Hopefully you don’t have to deal with anything more severe than a muscle strain, but if that happens, get a referral for a specialist in your area. Always go for the best! If you workout and eat healthy make sure you are seeing the most qualified person to give you results.