How Should I Treat a Muscle Strain?

August 3, 2021

How Should I Treat a Muscle Strain?- AFC Urgent Care

It seems like muscle strains occur during the most inconvenient times. If you’ve pulled a muscle when picking up a box, playing a game of backyard soccer or even turning the wrong way, there are ways to get your body feeling back to normal!

Our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team further explains how to properly deal with muscle strains below.

What Exactly Happens When I Strain a Muscle?

Before learning how to treat a muscle strain, it’s important to know what a muscle strain actually is. A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon—the fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. Minor injuries may only overstretch a muscle or tendon, while more severe injuries may involve partial or complete tears in these tissues.

A pulled muscle is perhaps a more common way to talk about a muscle strain, but they’re basically the same thing. Pulled muscles and strains commonly occur in the lower back and the muscles at the back of the thigh (hamstrings). We’ve listed some common muscle strain symptoms below.

Common Muscle Strain Symptoms

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Redness or bruising
  • Limited motion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Swelling
  • Muscle weakness

What Should I Do to Treat My Strain?

The first thing you should try when experiencing a muscle strain is the R.I.C.E approach, which we’ve listed below.

If your muscle strain is more severe, you’ll need to visit a doctor or our AFC center for treatment. The most common sign of a severe strain or tear is when you hear a “pop” while experiencing muscle pain.

R.I.C.E. Approach

  • Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort, but don’t avoid all physical activity.
  • Ice. Even if you’re seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. Use an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes each time and repeat every two to three hours while you’re awake for the first few days after the injury.
  • Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap it too tightly or you may hinder circulation.
  • Elevation. Elevate the injured area, especially at night, which allows gravity to help reduce swelling.

Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail center today to get the non-emergency medical care that you need!

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