Best Ways to Treat Muscle Injuries

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Best Ways to Treat Muscle Injuries

Whether you’re a professional or an amateur athlete, muscle injuries come with the job, sort to say. From a sprained ankle to acute beck pain, there is more than one way to injure yourself while running, jumping, or crouching. Treating muscle injuries is a fine combo between self-help and visiting various medical experts. These are the best ways to treat muscle injuries.

R.I.C.E. – The basic treatment

Immediately after you sustain an injury, the usual course of action implies resting, applying ice packs, compression, and elevation; in that exact order. This approach to treating muscle injuries is a called R.I.C.E. and it’s familiar to every athlete out there.


The resting stage of injury treatment involves avoiding any activity that causes additional pain. The swelling is there to keep your leg or arm immobile but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid all physical activity, just the movements that cause you pain.

Ice packs

Speaking of the pain and the swelling, you should apply ice packs to alleviate the pain. You can take a ready-made ice pack from the freeze or make your own batch. Ice packs should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes every three hours before you go to bed.


A mentioned earlier, the swelling can seriously reduce your mobility, so you should compress the affected area with an elastic bandage. If possible, let a professional apply the bandage because it should be neither too tight nor too loose. You need the blood circulating near the injured area. 


Finally, you should elevate the affected body extremity (hand and feet muscles re the usual suspects). By the term “elevation” we mean raising a part of your boy above the level of the heart. This way, gravity will help reduce the swelling overnight, so you can sleep tight despite the muscle injury.

Seeing a physical therapist

The R.I.C.E: approach is something every person can perform on their own (and unfortunately, every pro athlete is versed in it) but you will eventually need to see a doctor and undergo physical therapy. After being treated by a physical therapist, you will regain stability, as the injured limb strengthens. Of course, more serious muscle injures might require wearing a cast or even surgery if tendons are torn.

Give remedial massage a try

The main reason why sports injuries occur in the first place is muscle tension and skipping to warm up properly. As far as reducing tension is concerned, a remedial massage therapist can help you work through muscle tension layer by layer.

Such a massage, reaches the deeper muscles, releasing where persistent discomfort. On the other hand, sports massages have the power to enhance athletic performance, speeding up recovery after a strenuous workout session or a game.

The benefits of heat therapy

Applying ice packs and gels is called cold therapy. However, there is also heat therapy that is performed after the swelling subsides. The pain might not as sharp as it was following the injury but after the swelling is gone, you will still experience a blunt painful sensation around the affected area.

To help alleviate this type of pain, you use therapeutic heat consisting of hot cloths, warming lubricants, electric hot pads, hot water bottles, warm baths, etc. The end-goal of heat therapy is to increase blood flow and help the muscle tissue heal as quickly as possible.

“Should I use pain killers?”

A question often posed by people who pull a hamstring or sprain an ankle for the first time is whether they should take over-the-counter pain killers. The answer to this dilemma depends on the medication you are planning to take.

Aspirin and ibuprofen, the most common pain medication, should be avoided, as they increase the risk of bleeding. Acetaminophen, on the other hand, is ideal for reducing pain within the first two days following the injury.

In any case, consult your doctor or least the pharmacist before taking any pain killers!

Communicate with your doctor

Whether you see a general physician, a podiatrist, or an orthopedist, they are going to want to know how you injured your foot.  Walk inside their office with a pre-prepared detailed description of the accident and subsequent symptoms.

Essentially, the doctor will enquire about bout the intensity of the pain and whether you were able to walk right after the injury. They will ask you whether you heard a popping sound, whether there was broken skin, and whether you had a fever in the hours following the trauma. These questions serve to determine the severity of muscle injury, determining the treatment they intend to prescribe. 

If you go to your family physician, then you won’t need to provide the history of your medical conditions (possible allergies, for example). However, you do need to tell your doctor about all the medications you took and whether you consume any dietary supplements.

People have been spraining their ankles and dislocating their shoulders for millennia. Muscle injuries are nothing new nor had the standard treatment changed much. Applying R.I.C.E. and visiting a physical therapist and a masseur are the best remedies for all types of muscle injuries. 

Liam Smith

Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.

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