It’s no secret that pulling a muscle hurts. Plus, the time it takes to make a full recovery from a pulled muscle isn’t short; however, there are things you can do to potentially speed up the recovery time to get back on your feet sooner than later!
Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team further explains this below.
What Happens When I Pull a Muscle?
A pulled muscle, or muscle strain, occurs when a muscle or tendon is overstretched or torn. Muscle strains can occur without warning and affect people of all ages and fitness levels. A pulled muscle most commonly occurs when your muscle experience too much pressure during the course of normal daily activities, such as heavy lifting, during sports or while performing work tasks.
Muscle strains vary in severity, and you should visit your doctor or our AFC center if you experience any of the symptoms we’ve listed below.
When to See a Doctor
- Are experiencing a significant amount of pain
- Cannot walk
- Heard a popping sound when the injury occurred
- Have a fever
- Have broken skin at the injury site
- Have major swelling of the injured area
What Can I Do to Recover From a Pulled Muscle?
Perhaps the best and most popular form of recovery is the R.I.C.E. method, which we’ve listed below, but muscle strains can also typically be managed with anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers and targeted physical therapy.
Additionally, applying a heating pad to the injured area has also been shown to be beneficial.
- Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the OK. If you had a minor muscle strain, you should be able to do some gentle movement after two days.
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. Ice can help reduce inflammation. Just make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel first to avoid potential frostbite when placing the pack directly on the skin.
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. Avoid wrapping it too tightly, or your muscle won’t get enough blood circulation.
- Elevation. Elevate the injured muscle to reduce swelling.
Have additional questions about your muscle strain? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team today!