What Should I Do If I've Pulled a Muscle?

Pulled muscles are the worst, and they are certainly much more common to experience as you age. If you’ve pulled a muscle recently, what can you do to help it feel better and get back to living your previously active lifestyle?

Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team shares some helpful information below, so read on.

When Does a Pulled Muscle Happen?

Pulled muscles are often called muscle strains, and they typically happen when the affected muscle is either overstretched or contracted too quickly. When this happens, your muscle fibers have either stretched or torn, which can cause both mild and severe injuries.

We’ve listed some common activities that cause muscle strains below.

Typical Causes of Muscle Strains

  • Lifting an object that is too heavy
  • Lifting improperly
  • Not warming up before or stretching after a workout
  • Overusing a muscle
  • Poor posture

What Should I Do If I Pull a Muscle?

If your muscle strain is severe, you’ll need to visit a doctor or our AFC center for treatment. A tell-tale sign of a severe muscle strain or tear is when you hear a “popping” sound and experience a significant amount of pain when making a certain movement.

For all other minor muscle strains, the R.I.C.E method is one of the best things you can do to make your strain feel better. We’ve listed it below.

Ways to Help Your Muscle Recover

  • Rest. Even if your muscle strain is fairly minor, you should avoid physical activity for at least 24 hours.
  • Ice. As soon as you feel your muscle or tendon strain, grab an ice pack. Apply ice for 15–20 minutes every two to three hours, and follow this routine for the first few days after your injury.
  • Compression. Compressing your strained muscle reduces the swelling. Avoid wrapping it too tightly, or your muscle won’t get enough blood circulation.
  • Elevation. Elevating your injury above the level of your heart will help to reduce the pain and swelling. If your injury has happened to your back, try your best to maintain good posture to avoid applying further unnecessary pressure on your muscles.

No one likes to experience a pulled muscle. If you believe you’ve experienced a muscle strain and aren’t sure what to do, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team today!