Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no additional cost to you. For more information please visit our Disclaimers page.
Muscle strains are common and can range from minor to major ones. This condition occurs when you overstretch your muscles or lift heavy objects.
You can experience its symptoms in the form of tenderness, inflammation, frequent pain, and decreased range of motion in muscles. These symptoms mainly occur in the neck, lower back, and hamstring muscles.
When this happens, you should consult a doctor or physical therapist first. In the meantime, to treat the muscle pull, you can follow the tips below to speed up the recovery process.
10 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery
One of the principal treatments includes RICE i-e rest, ice, compress and elevate. Following RICE treatments, along with other tips given below, will help you recover.
Sometimes, you do not realise that your muscles are tired, and you over-stretch them, resulting in muscle strain. In such a condition, your body needs rest to heal.
But, if you keep doing weight lifting and other intense activities, you will end up worsening the situation. So, try to sleep 8 hours a day or whatever suits you.
It’s said that muscles recover themselves while you’re at rest. So, sleep well if you want to speed up your muscle recovery.
2-Ice & Heat Treatment
Ice and heat treatment is also known as contrast therapy. You must think that applying ice on the affected area stops the blood flow to the muscles; then, how will you recover?
The statement about the ice treatment is true, but doing heat treatment right after ice application expands the arteries, which increases blood flow to the muscles.
An increased blood flow to the affected muscles results in curing the muscle strain. Furthermore, you can immerse the affected part in hot and cold water turn by turn.
Many experimental pieces of evidence suggest that hot-cold water immersion can increase vasodilation, thus resulting in increased blood flow and reducing muscle inflammation.
You can do ice treatment for twenty minutes; the same goes for heat treatment. If you want to hasten the recovery process, doing contrast therapy for 2 to 3 hours daily would work.
Related: Is it Bad to Lock Your Knees?
Compressing or squeezing the affected muscle helps relieve the pain and inflammation. You can press the inflamed part of your body, and it will result in supplying blood and oxygen to the affected muscles.
This blood supply, oxygen, and other nutrients will result in fast muscle recovery. You can also wrap a plastic bandage around the affected area, but don’t wrap it tightly. It will help in supporting the damaged muscle.
Not to mention, practising compression for a week will boost recovery speed.
Related: 10 Best Bodybuilding Exercises
Elevating your affected body part above the heart level helps reduce swelling and inflammation by decreasing the blood flow.
It will also help in removing excess fluids from the area of injury. Suppose your toe is injured; you can take a small stool or table and place your foot on it.
It will speed up muscle recovery, and you can practice this technique for about 2 hours daily.
Did you know dehydration can slow your muscle’s recovery? Hydration is the key to speeding up the muscle’s recovery.
Drinking 12 glasses of water for men and eight glasses for women is recommended. Increasing water intake will help you with curing pulled muscles.
If you’re an athlete or involved in gym activities, you should add an extra 16 to 24 ounces of water to your routine.
6-Visit a Physical Therapist
Even though you can treat muscle strains at home with tips and tricks, the condition can worsen in some situations, resulting in prolonged pain.
As they say, a stitch on time saves nine; the same goes for muscle strains. If you experience mild discomfort or decreased range of motion, visit your therapist first.
They will design a treatment plan for you to speed up your recovery. You may also get therapy from them. Some effective therapies are manual therapy, strain counter therapy, and myofascial release.
7-Eat a Protein-Rich Diet
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps recover injured muscles. If you have a muscle strain and want to recover fast, you should add protein-rich food to your diet.
You should include fish, meat, chicken, eggs, vegetables, grains, nuts, and dairy foods. Including these food items in the diet will help athletes and novice gymgoers recover muscle.
Including carbs and other essential nutrients in the diet would work as well.
8-Practice Low-Impact Workout
If you are an athlete with an injured muscle, you must refrain from practising high-intensity training.
It will only worsen the situation by damaging your muscles and tendons. On your road to recovery, you can practice low-impact exercises.
Suppose running or squat jumping is a high-impact workout, and you can practice swimming instead. It helps to increase blood flow to the affected muscles and recover them.
9-Avoid Alcohol & Tobacco Consumption
Using alcohol and tobacco is harmful to health and can cause significant bodily complications. Alcohol consumption during muscle recovery can affect the body’s ability to produce muscle glycogen and synthesise protein.
However, the studies haven’t found any significant relationship between tobacco use and its effect on injury. That being said, research states that tobacco consumption can affect the musculoskeletal system, whereas alcohol consumption can impair protein synthesis.
This will result in an increased risk of muscle injury. So, it’s best to avoid using alcohol and tobacco when injured.
Before you work out, you should stretch a bit to loosen your body muscles. It will help you work out effectively.
If you don’t do stretches and begin to work out, you can end up overstretching your muscles. As a result, you will experience muscle strains.
A study suggests doing good stretches before a workout will help subside muscle strains.
Muscle strains are common in athletes and novice gym goers. They can result in muscle pull and damage your tendons as well.
You can treat the injured muscles by following the tips given in this article. They will help you recover fast.
How long does it take for a strained muscle take to heal?
Most sprains and strains improve after two weeks. Avoid running for 8 weeks to avoid further harm. Severe sprains and strains can take months to heal.
What helps muscle strain heal faster?
Muscle strain is best treated with a brace and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen. Applying an ice pack for 15 minutes helps reduce inflammation, pain, and recovery time.
Should I stretch a strained muscle?
Resting a pulled muscle is the most crucial thing. Even little stretching might injure a torn muscle, prolonging recovery.