Should I Stretch A Pulled Muscle?

For any accident, the I.C.E. solution is advised by most experts: ice, compression and elevation. Wrap a towel around a bag of ice, use a compression wrap, and attempt to keep the injured area relatively elevated (this has excellent reviews).

All of them will help minimize inflammation and keep the blood circulating properly, in addition to rest. Studies say the I.C.E. procedure will not “fix” your injury, but in the initial hours and days it will help.

Don’t stretch.

Although it might sound counterintuitive, it just makes it worse to stretch a sore muscle. Any movement that agitates the affected region and continues to rest until the pain subsides is your best bet. With a mild strain, moderate stretching will aid, but only if it is incorporated a few days after the injury occurred.

Watch for discomfort from bruising or lingering.

The overwhelming majority of pulled muscles are not extreme, but serious cases can sometimes lead to swelling, redness, and bruising. Talk to the doctor, healthcare provider or physical therapist if that happens. After two weeks, swelling around the muscle or residual pain suggests a deeper injury that may require medical assistance.

Recovery time is influenced by the form of injury.

Strains tend to fall into one of three classifications: muscles, ligaments and tendons. Instant pain, a little swelling, and soreness that heals within a week or so are caused by mild tendon or muscle injury. This kind of first-degree injury hurts, but to a degree you can still shift into the muscle.

Second-degree strains cause muscle damage that persists for up to several weeks, and third-degree injuries frequently lead to tendon or ligament complications, where muscle has been torn from the bone in a complete tear, often requiring surgery and months of healing to heal. Knowing the type of injury you have will help decide how long, in terms of exercise, you will be down for the count.

Start to return to your routine slowly.

You are probably able to get back at it after your pulled muscle heals. You will however, initially need to take workouts very slowly, since even mild strains will later lead to more serious ones. Reduce cardio speed, lower the amount of weight you lift, and consider beginning work as a whole with yoga or body weight.

Let pain be a reference for you. Stop and go back to square one (rest!), if the hurt region still twinges. If you feel okay, add more reps, sets, or miles gradually before you slowly return to your normal workout schedule and intensity level.

In the future, take caution to avoid pulled muscles.

In combination with exercise, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends regular stretching to keep your muscles healthy and flexible, as muscle exhaustion is one of the top causes of injury.

In the first place, you would also want to think about why the pulled muscle occurred. Is it an imbalance of muscles? Did you let the best of you get your ego, and drive too hard?

Moving forward, it will be important to listen to your body to prevent pulled muscles wherever possible. Go slow especially if you’re new to an exercise, and practice good form. Don’t feel guilty, particularly when you feel too tired or stressed out about incorporating rest days to your workout routine.

And keep out of your mind the word “should”. Most of us are not trained, competitive athletes, but with a dedication to fitness, ordinary people work out for fun. Your goal is to feel strong, flexible and agile, so it will only hurt you in the long run to exercise through pain such as a strained muscle or rushing through recovery.