Table of Contents
About Tissue Damage
Whenever we undertake any exercise our muscles get damaged. Our muscles are made up of thousands of strands of muscle fibres that lay along side each other to form the muscle belly. When you exercise or put force through the muscle from running or lifting weights the muscle fibres get torn, sometimes only a few and other times lots of them. If there are a lot of muscle fibres torn then it can be extremely painful and there will be a lot of swelling. Bruising is likely to occur in the affected area as well so seek medical advice if bruising or swelling persists. Depending on the amount of torn fibres, depends on the severity of the injury, most often these "muscle pulls" can be treated at home with rest to give them time to repair.
Why Use Home Based Techniques?
If you pull a muscle it is not normally bad enough to seek medical attention, and usually seeing your GP will result in a simple go home and rest approach. The other alternative is to pay for physiotherapy treatment but with minor muscle damage the methods they would use are very similar to those in this article. So using some simple methods at home can save you time and money as none of these will cause any further damage and combined with an element of rest will see you back on the playing field quicker than rest alone.
R stands for rest which seems obvious but it means not using that limb or part of the body that has been injured.
I stands for ice, you should make sure that especially the first 24 hours after pulling the muscle to ice it every 2-3 hours for about 20 minutes a time. Make sure not to place the ice pack directly onto the skin always wrap in a towel. Icing helps to relieve pain and decrease the swelling around the muscle.
C is for compression as it is important to keep the injury wrapped up using a compression bandage.
E is for elevation as the injured area should be elevated as much as possible to avoid excessive blood flow to the area which will lead to additional swelling.