How To Heal Muscle Strain: 6 Immediate Actions To Take

If muscles get overstretched or torn, you may suffer from a pulled muscle tear. It is also called muscle strain. This occurs mainly because of exhaustion, overdoing anything, or if you use your muscles in the wrong way. In your body, the strain may occur in any of your muscles. However, it mostly happens in the lower back, hamstring, and neck. Mild hamstrings, for instance, are Grade 1, and can cause pain at the back of your thigh. On the other hand, you will find partial hamstrings – which are Grade 2 – to be more painful. 

The strains from these muscles can cause significant pain. So you should know how to heal muscle strain. You can even treat moderate strains right at your home with the help of some frost, warmness, and anti-inflammatory medications.

However, by any chance, if you got some severe injuries or strains, then you will require emergency medical attention.

Symptoms Of Muscle Strain

When you have strained muscles, you will feel:

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Photo by Kindel Media: Pexels
  • the beginning of pain and swelling

  • severe soreness

  • blocked movements

  • discoloration and bruising

  • muscle cramps

  • feebleness

  • immobility

A torn muscle will stiffen if you suffer from mild strain and swelling. However, it will be enough to make movements.

You will feel severe strains when your muscle is torn severely.

Some of the muscle strains will be moderate, and some of them will become very mild. However, symptoms will wither away in a few days. However, severe strains will take several days to heal.

Why Muscle Strain Happens

If the muscle tears suddenly and at the most unexpected time, you feel acute muscle strain.

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Photo by Allan Mas: Pexels

This type of muscle tear generally happens due to trauma injuries. You will face this if:

  • you do not warm up your body appropriately before any physical activity

  • you have poor flexibility

  • you have very poor conditioning

  • you have fatigue and overexertion

However, people always think that acute muscle strain happens due to rigorous exercises. But I’m afraid that’s not right. You can suffer from muscle strain, even just by walking and doing everyday activities.

You can also suffer acute muscle strain if:

  • you lose control of your footing and lose grip

  • you jump

  • you run

  • you try to do heavy weight lifting, being in an uncomfortable position.

However, you can even suffer from regular muscle strains, if:

  • you play sports like golf or basketball

  • you have poor posture

  • your back is in some awkward position. This even happens with your neck.

How To Heal Muscle Strain

You may suffer injuries from falls, heavy weight lifting, sudden heavy work, overuse, or working on a desk for a long time.

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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko: Pexels

However, here you will find six tips by which you can heal your muscle strain.

1. Cold Therapy

If you strain a muscle in your body with another mild strain, then the fibers in the tissue get damaged.

It may cause immense and immediate pain. Also, you can have inflammation in the muscle tissue. Such injuries will be followed by swelling in the affected area.

To counteract these types of symptoms, use some chilled substance. Apply an ice pack over the injured muscle. It will stop your pain as quickly as possible.

Make sure to apply the cold many times a day. You must apply it for at least 20 to 30 minutes for quick recovery.

You can also get a cold bath to get the normal strength. Apply some ice or gel pack over the pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, you must get cold therapy with the doctor’s instructions.

However, ice packs do the job in most muscle strains since this is the readily available solution and can be applied quickly right after an injury.

You should get a physical exam and go with the cold therapy system.

2. Compression

If you are suffering from muscle strains, there is another way to treat muscle strains. It is done by applying pressure on the affected area.

Generally, the compression always helps to reduce the swelling and inflammation of a strained muscle.

You can even use an elastic bandage with static compression and apply constant pressure. It can help to prevent additional swelling and give you pain relief.

The compression creates a pumping action, which provides additional benefits. It also helps your body to remove the excess fluid which is there in the injured area.

Thus it helps to increase blood flow and flow of oxygenated blood. Proper blood flow is essential for tissue repair and healing.

3. Massage

Therapeutic massage always aids in loosening tight muscles. Also, it helps in increasing blood circulation and further helps to heal damaged muscle and tissue.

If an injured area gets a massage immediately, the injury can heal faster.

However, if massage is not possible in more severe injuries, it is better to wait for a week and consult your doctor for massage therapy.

If he agrees, you can start with a massage to reduce pain and swelling.

4. Heat Therapy

Heat therapy always helps relieve the pain right after the swelling has occurred. You can use the electric hot pads to apply heat therapy.

Also, you can take a warm bath or hot tubs to reduce swelling and pain. Even hot cloths and hot bottles help heal the injury a lot faster.

When heat therapy is applied, the blood flow increases and healing is promoted. However, you can switch between heat and cold therapy to help reduce the pain and swelling due to muscle strains.

5. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an excellent idea to prevent the muscles from weakening whenever you get a muscle injury.

Physical therapy with proper treatment can help the muscles to regain strength and start healing instantly. It also helps to reduce swelling and further the risk of injury.

If you have a partial or complete tear, a physical therapist can teach you the stretching exercises. It will help you maintain flexibility, physical activity, and range of motion.

However, you may also do some exercise programs to strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of sprains and strains.

6. Pain Medication

Muscle sprains and strains can be very painful. If you have injured yourself with a severe injury as the injury occurred in the back muscle, then medical help can relieve pain and additional risks of injury.

With appropriate treatment, medications like aspirin or NSAIDs can reduce swelling and additional soft tissue injuries.

However, the doctor may recommend vital medicines in the worst-case surgical repair of muscle strains in some severe conditions.

Discuss every medical treatment with your doctor before you begin with it.

However, you can take care of both pains and soft tissue injuries at home. However, it would help if you did not push yourself hard by doing any hard work.

For example, an athlete with an injured ankle, even with sports medicine, needs to rest for at least three weeks.

Moreover, with all the tips given above, one can heal muscle strains right at home. However, if you feel insecure about your muscle fibers from getting injured again, you must get medical attention.

Preventing Muscle Strains

Preventing muscle injury is always possible with suitable precautions.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
  • Make a habit of good posture. Take breaks and move around to maintain your flexibility and range of motion. Make sure you do not stay in a posture for an extended period.

  • When working in the same posture, maintain one foot in the air and keep the other foot over a tuffet. Such practice can even help you deal with the strain on muscles.

  • When you lift any objects, try to maintain your knees in good posture. Wear shoes that have perfect fitting for you.

  • Lose weight based on your medical condition.

  • Suppose you make any mistakes while lifting weights. Your muscles can get completely ruptured.

When You Must Get Medical Service

If you are suffering from a severe injury or cannot walk, or are having a significant amount of pain, even when you hear a popping sound during the injury, you must run to your doctor.

Moreover, if you find that your pain is not reducing after a couple of weeks and the damaged area is still numb, you must seek medical help.

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Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash

The doctors will examine you with some imaging tests. It may include X-rays, MRI scans, or some physical examination.

If you are suffering from orthopedic injuries, then in the worst case, he may recommend orthopedic surgery.

The muscle treatment includes anti-inflammatory medications and some pain killers. He may even ask you to take physical therapy to regain your muscles’ strength, reform your movements, and continue normal activities.


However, proper techniques are crucial, and in case you suffer a strain, you should know how to heal muscle strain. Also, do not forget to seek medical attention and follow the general principles to stay fit.

Doing regular exercise can also bring blood to every corner of your body, giving you good health. However, do not forget to do stretching before and after your workout.

If you are a newbie to exercise and the gym, you should start slowly. Your muscle will not know what pain is coming ahead of them. So give your muscles a workout habit to not get injured. Stay a healthy and robust life.

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Susanta Biswas
I'm a tech enthusiast, who loves researching about technical items used in health centers. I hold a degree in technology and love sharing my tech-health-related research with folks here with Icy Health. Hope you will find some interesting things to learn about your health.
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