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A muscle strain is an overstretching of a muscle. When the muscle fibers in your body are torn, it leads to muscle strains. Mostly muscle strains are caused due to excessive pressure in the muscles that lead to the overstretching of the muscle fibers.
The common muscle strain occurs behind the thigh region of the body and in the neck area of the body. Shoulder sprain and lower back pain are too common.
To relieve muscle strain, you can adopt simple home remedies however often it depends on the seriousness of the pain. If the pain is too aggressive, it could be possible that the strained muscle is too torn to function properly, and in such cases, professional medical guidance is needed.
In some cases tearing of the muscle fibers can also lead to the damage of blood vessels in the body. Muscle sprains if not well-taken care at early stages can often lead to severe joint pain too
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The symptoms of muscle strains include:
Muscle strain can be caused by following reasons:
Muscle strain treatment depends on the seriousness of the pain. According to Harvard Health To help simplify diagnosis and treatment, doctors often classify muscle strains into three grades, depending on the severity of muscle fiber damage:
Study shows, Grade I or Grade II strain can be easily treated at home with the PRICE formula:
To relieve muscle strain, it is very essential to protect your muscle from further injury. If the injury is new or recurring padding, taping, and bracing are some of the options available to protect the body from injury.
Muscle strain is very common in athletes due to their excessive involvement in physical activities. In such a case, the shoulder pads and the knee pads can help the players to protect the muscle from any further injury.
Enough rest is mandatory to avoid the movement of the muscle. You should make sure that you are not pressurizing your body with the movement of a muscle in the initial days.
Avoid the activities that caused the strain and any activities that are painful. Any negligence can prolong the healing process. You can use bandage and crutches to soothe out the pain in the injured area
Ice can immediately bring relief to the strained area. It can prevent swelling. You can use ice or ice pack on the injured area for a while to soothe out the pain. For the next few days repeat the process and limit the body movement to avoid the pressure in the muscle.
Note: Do not put ice directly on your skin. Always use a barrier like ice wrapped in a towel or ice pack for the direct application that may cause damage to the delicate tissues of the skin.
Compression reduces inflammation by preventing blood and other fluids from accumulating around the injury. If the swelling is not reduced it may lead to severe pain in the muscle area and also can delay the healing process.
To reduce swelling, wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage. Make sure you have not tightened the bandage as it may cause more swelling and disrupt the blood circulation.
Keeping the injured muscle above the level of your heart helps to relieve muscle strain. It also helps to reduce swelling and pain in the muscle area. Elevation also helps to drain the excess fluid from the injured area that not only reduces the pain but speeds up the healing process.
Using heating pads will ease out the pain in the strained area. It will also relax the pulled muscles and reduce muscle stiffness. Do not put the heating pad directly into the skin. Wrap the heating pad in a towel and place it on the painful area.
It is advised to repeat this process numerous times during the initial days of the injury. It also reduces the joint pain induced by the muscle strains in the body.
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Medicines like Ibuprofen and paracetamol will help reduce your pain and swelling and are popular treatments for muscular aches and pains, arthritis, and joint stiffness.
It is advised to use these medications only if the muscle strain pain is too tough to resist.
Herbs like Turmeric and Garlic have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the swelling caused by muscle strains. Put some garlic in any herbal oil of your choice and heat it gently. Apply the oil and wrap the strained area with a bandage.
This process will help to reduce the pain of the strained muscles and also will fasten up the healing process. The herb is also effective to protect the injured area from any outward infections.
Soaking the injured area in the Epsom salt water will help you to reduce the pain of the pulled muscles. It will also help to soothe sore muscles and connective tissues, along with joint stiffness.
Note: use the epsom salt water soak only after few days of the injury.
After the healing process is over, make sure you perform little body movements like body stretch to increase the body circulation in the body. This will help you to maintain the proper blood flow in the body that will lower the risk of injury.
As mentioned earlier, for Grade I or Grade II strain, the above-mentioned steps will help to relieve muscle strain. However, for Grade III, you should seek the help of a Doctor for effective treatments.
In Grade III, state of muscle strain the pain is acute and the swelling is intense. The injured area is numb and you may also find blood coming out of the injury.
There is also immense difficulty in moving your body and walking is too difficult for you. In such a case, it is wise to see a doctor immediately to fasten up the healing process.
With simple following measures, you can prevent muscle strains:
Healing of the muscle strains normally takes around a month with proper rest and medicare. However, if the injury is serious, it is advised to seek the help of a professional doctor. In some cases, even surgery is needed. To avoid muscle strains, maintain a healthy lifestyle.