Strained muscles are some of the most common ailments. They can happen to anyone while doing their daily activities, during sports, or through sharp, sudden movements.
Symptoms of a strained muscle include swelling or bruising at the site, pain while resting, weakness of the damaged area and pain while using the affected muscle(s).
Strained muscles are usually minor, but some may require surgery and a more complicated recovery process. When someone has a strained muscle, sudden trauma may cause the muscle or its attaching tendons to tear. This is what generally makes strained muscles so painful.
Luckily, there are plenty of at-home remedies one can try to relieve the pain associated with a strained muscle. Here are some of them
1. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen may reduce pain associated with a strained muscle. This class of over-the-counter medications is used to treat mild inflammation, moderate pain, and fever. However, it is important to note that anyone with kidney disease, a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, or taking a blood thinner should not use NSAIDs. This can pose a considerable health risk. So, it is essential to consult your licensed medical professional for assistance.
2. Icing the Strained Muscle
Applying a cold compress to the affected area may reduce inflammation, lessening the pain associated with a strained muscle. To do this, remove all constrictive clothing from the muscle strain.
Using an ice pack (you can even make your own) wrapped in a cloth, ice the area for 20 minutes every hour. This can help relieve pain as ice is an excellent pain reliever. It temporarily numbs the affected area and reduces inflammation.
Using gentle compression, you can relieve the pain of a strained muscle. To do this, you will need an Ace bandage or other supportive wrap. This will help support the muscle and decrease swelling in the area.
Make sure to wrap the muscle firmly but not too tight as to restrict healthy blood circulation. Restricting adequate blood flow may actually end up hurting the affected muscle even more. Leave the wrap on during the day, allowing the muscle to rest during the night.
4. Heating Pad
Heating the affected muscle may also provide some temporary pain relief. You can buy heat wraps at the store, or make your own.
To make your own heating pad, simply place a few cups of dry rice into a cloth bag or pillowcase. Toss it in the microwave, and use it to relieve your pain. Apply heat to the muscle for 15 minutes every hour to mitigate symptoms.
It is crucial not to use too much heat, as this can leave you with painful and unsightly burns. Another over-the-counter solution is a heating gel, such as Icy-Hot, which you can apply based on the package’s instructions.
Elevating the affected area may provide quick, gentle relief to one’s strained muscle. This remedy is highly effective because it helps drain excess fluid from the injured area (thanks gravity)! This will lead to reduced swelling and some pain relief.
For better results, raise the affected area above the level of your heart. Elevate the affected area for at least 30 minutes, once in the morning and once at night. You can do this by using a store-bought sling or by making one at home. You can also use a variety of pillows or blankets for sufficient elevation.
To prevent a pulled muscle, be sure to exercise proper form while working out, lifting, and playing sports. Strained muscles occur due to unnecessary stress placed on a muscle. Make sure you warm up before engaging in any physical activities. In addition, stretching daily may reduce your risk of contracting a strained muscle. If you happen to strain a muscle, be sure to use one or a combination of (generally more effective) the remedies outlined above.