Do you have constant muscle pain that keeps you from doing your daily activities? Some reasons could be responsible for causing this pain like lifting a heavy object or not warming up before a workout. Do you want to know how to speed up muscle strain recovery? Well. In this article, I will include how to get rid of this pain, what might be causing this pain, the possible signs that tell you have muscle pain, and when to see a doctor. So, keep reading to know all the details.
What Causes Muscle Strain?
To recover from muscle strain, you have to know first what might be causing it. There are some factors that could be the reason for this pain include:
- Skipping warming up before a workout.
- Not stretching after a workout.
- Poor posture.
- Carrying a heavy object.
- Lift weights improperly.
How To Tell If You Have A Muscle Strain?
Some signs can tell you have muscle strain including:
- Experiencing pain when moving or using the affected muscle.
- Bruising or redness on the affected area.
- Experiencing pain even when the affected muscle is at rest.
- It becomes difficult to use the affected muscle.
- Muscle spasms.
How To Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery?
Usually, muscle strains occur in the neck, hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back. It’s best to seek medical support for a proper diagnosis if you believe you have pulled a muscle.
But if you experience mild pain or discomfort, you may fix this at home. If the pain persists more than 1-2 days after trying the at-home treatments, consult with a doctor right away.
So here’s what you should try at home to speed up muscle strain recovery:
1- Apply Ice To The Area
The first thing you should do when you pull a muscle is to apply ice to the affected area for 20-30 minutes. This would help reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.
Repeating this several times a day can speed up recovery and reduce pain significantly. It’s best to apply ice to the injured area as soon as you can to relieve the symptoms quickly.
Don’t apply the ice pack directly to the area, wrap it with a towel then apply it to the area.
2- Compress The Affected Area
Applying pressure to the affected muscle plays a major role in reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain effectively.
There are two methods of compression you can try; static compression and active compression.
To try the static compression, wrap the strained area with an elastic bandage to relieve swelling and prevent further swelling. Avoid wrapping the bandage too hard as this could prevent blood from getting to the muscle.
The active compression method creates a pumping action in the area that mimics muscle construction which can boost oxygenated blood flow, improve circulation, and remove excess fluid in the area. This helps accelerate tissue repair and recovery.
3- Try Heat Therapy
Applying heat to the affected muscle can dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow, subside swelling, reduce pain, and relax muscles.
You can apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to the area, it’s best to wrap the pad or the bottle with a towel instead of applying it directly to your skin. You can also take a warm bath to relieve the pain.
Furthermore, heat therapy is usually an effective method that helps people with arthritis feel better and reduce their muscle and joint pain.
4- Try Low-Impact Exercise
I know you might think this step makes no sense. But actually, it’s one of the most recommended steps on how to speed up muscle strain recovery.
Although rest is needed to speed up healing, doing simple moves like leg swings helps reduce stiffness and keep the muscle loose.
Stretching or low-impact exercise will not affect the injured muscle, on the contrary, it can improve flexibility and mobility, boost blood flow, and transfer oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the affected area. This will for sure help speed up recovery.
If you’re unable to move, you can use a massage chair or the heated foot and calf massager instead.
5- Sleep More
Your body needs some time to process to start to heal itself. So, what should you do? All you need to do is to get more sleep, about 10 hours a night, to feel well-rested and wake up with less pain and discomfort.
6- Increase Your Protein Intake
One of the top mistakes that people who start to exercise do is to go on a strict diet that does not contain enough protein. Not sure what to eat after a workout, check out this article.
Protein is the key to repairing and building muscles, speeding up muscle recovery, reducing hunger, keeping you full, reducing inflammation, and promoting muscle growth, especially after exercise.
You should eat enough protein during recovery to stay healthy. How to do that? You can add protein powder to your pancakes, check out the recipes here. Or add protein bars to your diet to increase your intake successfully, Check some delicious recipes here. Also, you can add protein powder to your smoothies, Find the recipes here.
Don’t ignore this step as it’s one of the most sufficient steps on how to speed up muscle strain recovery!
7- Stay Hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, your muscles may not be able to heal properly as water plays an important role in keeping your body functioning well.
So you should drink enough water daily to stay healthy and hydrated. And when you’re exercising, you should replenish water loss to maintain your health.
Related: How To Tell If You Are Dehydrated: 11 Early & Warning Signs
8- Elevate The Injured Muscles
Muscle elevation is also another recommended and helpful step on how to speed up muscle strain recovery as it reduces swelling and boosts blood flow.
How to do it? Elevate the injured muscle above the heart level to distribute weight along your body and increase blood circulation which will help subside swelling and speed up healing.
Over-the-counter pain relief medications may increase the risk of bleeding if taken during the first 48 hours after the strain occurs, that’s why doctors may not recommend taking them without examination.
When To See A Doctor?
It’s highly recommended to consult a doctor immediately when:
- You experience unbearable pain in the area.
- You’re unable to use or move the affected muscle.
- The skin over the affected muscle is broken.
- You experience excessive swelling.
- You have a fever.
- You could hear a popping sound clearly.
Muscle strains can be super annoying and painful and would slow you down during your busy days. Luckily, there are some ways you can try to help you recover faster from this pain. Check out the most recommended steps on how to speed up muscle strain recovery above and let me know what you think.