This must have happened to you at a point or the other either while exercising or sporting and I bet it was an extremely painful experience – of course, it was.
It’s not a strange occurrence and it’s bound to happen whenever you subject your muscles to undue pressure either when exercising rigorously or engaging in a sporting activity. Even, it could happen just while you are going about your daily activities – it’s that easy to catch. However, its severity might vary from person to person and this is simply because the intensity of pressure on muscle varies also.
This article will expose you to everything you need to know about muscle strain, its causes, symptoms, and treatment. Enjoy the jolly ride!
What’s a muscle strain?
Muscle strain also called muscle pull or muscle tear happens when damage is done to the muscle or tendons attached to it. It can be in the form of tearing off of a part or whole of the muscle tendons and fibers attached to the muscle. When this happens, because the tendons harbor some blood vessels, such could tear too leading to bleeding or bruising and pain. Some of the symptoms of muscle strain include:
- bleeding, bruising, redness, or swelling of the affected area
- Severe pain when that particular muscle is used or areas around it is engaged
- The weakness of the muscles and tendons
- Not being able to walk at all
Most times, muscles strain is a condition that can easily be managed in the home but it requires serious medical attention when:
- Home remedy fails to soothe the pain after over 24 hours
- There is a significant injury or open cuts on the muscle
- There is severe bleeding
- You cannot engage that part without feeling excruciating pain
To further ascertain the severity of the condition, a diagnosis must be made by a doctor. This will help reveal if the muscle is completely damaged or partially torn. Also, if this has been a condition that has persisted over time, the doctor must take the medical history of the patients as this will help track the trajectory of the condition. In the short or long run, the healing process and the likelihood of complication are determined by the severity of the strain.
Dealing with Muscle Strain at Home
Muscle pulls and minor cases of a muscle strain can be managed at home until recovery is attained in the short while. However, more severe conditions might require surgical procedures to heal up over time and the recovery process can be lengthy.
- At home, you can start by applying ice packs on the strained muscle to ease the swelling, irritation, or pain. You can also apply heat after the swelling has reduced. Do not apply heat when there’s still swelling as this could cause more swelling which could further lead to complications. It is noteworthy to point out that ice and heat should not be applied directly on the bare skin. Always make use of a covering like a towel to protect your bare skin whenever you want to apply either heat or ice block.
- Use anti-inflammatory drugs that are also non-steroidal to reduce pain. This will also help you to be able to move around in a short while. Such drugs as ibuprofen and naproxen are good for you to soothe the pain. however, note that you shouldn’t use any of these drugs if you are suffering from kidney disease or gastrointestinal bleeding or you are on blood thinner medication such as Coumadin. It’s advisable to talk to your medical counselor about your condition before using anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Engage the PRICE technique. P stands for Protection; R stands for rest; I stands for Ice; C stands for compression, and E stands for elevation. This would go a long way in helping the resuscitation of the affected muscle and related parts.
- Begin the PRICE technique by removing every sort of attachment such as clothing or jewelry from the affected part. Ensure that you protect the area from any other injury which can be induced through carelessness or accident.
- Rest the affected part as you ensure that the muscles are not exposed to any kind of activities whatsoever
- Apply Ice on the affected muscles for 20 minutes every hour. Ice is effective for reducing swelling and soothing pain.
- Gently apply compression with an elastic bandage or an ace. Do not wrap tightly.
- Also, elevate the affected area. For instance, while sitting, you can prop up your strained legs.
However, if after applying home remedies, the condition persists, it is important to go for proper medical treatment where crutches and other rehabilitation exercises can be engaged.