A pulled muscle affects all of us, from the light activity-goers to the professional athletes. Though typically not a severe injury, a pulled muscle can nag and sideline you from your favorite sport or activity. Taking the correct steps to treat it properly can help you get back to doing what you love.
A pulled muscle occurs when the muscle is strained or stretched too far, creating small tears within the muscle. This generates aching, tightening, and stiffening in the muscle, which can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. The hamstring is commonly strained, which can hinder you from performing a variety of activities, including running, walking, and jumping.
Muscle strains can usually be treated without seeing a doctor. Avoiding strenuous activities and proper resting allows the strain to heal, while icing aids in reducing the pain and bleeding of the muscle.
To help avoid pulling a muscle, follow these simple guidelines:
- Stretch – It is extremely important to stretch before and after physical activity. Stretching out your muscles before exercising and conditioning will help avoid muscle strains.
- Warm Up – This includes lightly jogging or playing catch. It is important to do this before playing in a game so that your muscles can become relaxed and are not tight, which could lead to a muscle tear.
- Listen To Your Body – As your muscles weaken during activity, you become more susceptible to a strain and other injuries. Make sure to listen to your body to avoid muscle fatigue. Do not overwork yourself and make sure to drink plenty of water so that your muscles are loose and relaxed.
- Maintain Strength – Proper weight training and conditioning creates stronger muscles, which are less likely to become strained. It is important to make sure you are incorporating weight training with your exercises and workout routine.