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Human Body - Central States Orthopedics

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Sports Medicine and Wellness

Muscle Strain

You have a pulled (torn) muscle. A pulled muscle, or muscle strain, occurs when a muscle is over-stretched and some muscle fibers are torn. This is especially common in athletes. This happens when a sudden violent force placed on a muscle pushes it past its capacity. Usually, recovery from a pulled muscle takes 1 to 2 weeks. But complete healing will take 5 to 6 weeks.

Muscle StrainThere are millions of muscle fibers. Following injury, your body will usually return to normal quickly.

Home Care Instructions

  • While awake, apply ice to the sore muscle for 15 to 20 minutes each hour for the first 2 days.
    Put ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin
  • Do not use the pulled muscle for several days. Do not use the muscle if you have pain
  • You may wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage for comfort. Be careful not to bind it too tightly. This may interfere with blood circulation
  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not use aspirin as this will increase bleeding (bruising) at injury site
  • Warming up before exercise helps prevent muscle strains

Seek Medical Care If

  • There is increased pain or swelling in the affected area

Make Sure You

  • Understand these instructions
  • Will watch your condition
  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse

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