Non-operative Muscle Strain Treatment

The goal of any treatment and rehabilitation program is designed to relieve the pain, restore the normal range of motion, and restore the muscle’s inherent strength. R.I.C.E. (which represents Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), is the most common treatment for mild to moderate muscle strains. Direct application of ice, along with gentle massaging of the affected area, will help to decrease the swelling. Ibuprofen or regular aspirin will also help reduce swelling and ease the pain. A bandage wrap may also prove beneficial. If it is too painful to walk, try to limit all weight-bearing activity and consider the use of crutches for the first couple of days after the injury.

After two or three days, heat therapy including heat lamps, heating pads, or a hot soak in the tub should be used. Avoid the activity that originally caused the strain in the first place for at least two weeks. During that period, your muscle strength and endurance can be rebuilt with strengthening and stretching exercises. Of course, more severe muscle strains will take longer  to rehabilitate.

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