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Muscle strain treatment

Treatment - muscle strain

Information

Question:

How do you treat a muscle strain?

Answer:

Rest the strained muscle and apply ice for the first few days after the injury. Anti-inflammatory medicines or acetaminophen (Tylenol) also help reduce pain and swelling. As the pain decreases, you can use heat on the muscle. Stretching and light exercises to bring blood to the injured area can also be useful. In general, stretching and warm compresses are helpful before exercises. Cooling down and icing the area after exercise can help.

Get medical help right away if:

  • You have a lot of swelling with the muscle strain.
  • You can't move your arms, legs, or joints.
  • You have swelling that is getting worse as time passes.

References

Biundo JJ. Bursitis, tendinitis, and other periarticular disorders and sports medicine. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 263.

Wang D, Eliasberg CD, Rodeo SA. Physiology and pathophysiology of musculoskeletal tissues. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR. eds. DeLee, Drez, and Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 1.

  • Treatment for leg strain

    Treatment for leg strain - illustration

    Leg strain is also known as a pulled muscle. It results from damage to a muscle from excessive physical activity. Proper treatment of a pulled muscle includes a cold compress, rest, and elevation of the damaged muscle above the level of the heart.

    Treatment for leg strain

    illustration

    • Treatment for leg strain

      Treatment for leg strain - illustration

      Leg strain is also known as a pulled muscle. It results from damage to a muscle from excessive physical activity. Proper treatment of a pulled muscle includes a cold compress, rest, and elevation of the damaged muscle above the level of the heart.

      Treatment for leg strain

      illustration

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    Review Date: 5/13/2019

    Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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