Muscle strain or muscle pull is common injury experienced by many people in their daily life. The condition occurs when a muscle or group of muscles are overstretched leading to microscopic tears in muscle fibers. Muscle strain is painful condition mainly resulting from overuse, strenuous exercise, accidental injury etc. It leads to swelling and severe pain in the affected muscle.
Although muscle strain is not life threatening problem, a person suffering from it may find it difficult to perform his daily activity due to pain and stiffness associated with it. Normally any muscle can strain, but most common strains occur in muscles of thigh, back, neck and shoulder.
Mild to moderate muscle strain can be cured at home with natural remedies. More severe injury may need medical intervention.
Common Causes Of Muscle Strain
Majority cases of muscle strain result from microscopic tear of muscle fibers. The onset is sudden. Your muscle can be pulled as a result of injury. Certain predisposing triggers are overexertion, poor flexibility, exercise without warm up, etc. Strenuous exercise and rigorous physical activities can also pull the muscles.
Sudden lifting of heavy objects or pushing a heavy table can strain your muscles. Pulled muscle is not only related to activities, it can also develop while you are resting.Your muscle can become sore and painful if you sleep in awkward position.
Muscle strain can become chronic with repetition of forceful activity time and again. For example muscle strain is common among people participating in certain sports such as tennis, baseball, rowing etc. Person sitting with poor posture for a long period of time is also prone to develop pulled muscle.
Symptoms Of Muscle Strain
The common problem for any person after he has sprained or pulled his muscle is difficulty in performing his daily activity. Stiffness and soreness along with pain limits the range of motion. Below are important symptoms that are indicative of pulled muscle.
- Sudden pain in the affected muscle after injury or activity.
- The area becomes tender to touch.
- Muscles feel sore.
- Due to injury and damage to tiny blood vessels the affected area will appear bruised with discoloration of skin.
- You may feel knots in the affected muscles.
- Moderate to severe pain.
- Weakness of the part affected.
Natural Remedies To Heal Muscle Strain
Majority cases of muscle strain can be treated at home with natural remedies. However, if strain is severe you may need to consult your doctor.
- Rest: Rest is essential part of treatment. Avoid using the muscle for few days. After few days, begin gentle use of the injured muscle. However, avoid over exerting as the healing may take longer time.
- Apply ice to the injured area especially during the first few hours or a day after your muscle has pulled. Ice reduces inflammation and pain. Take a thin clean cloth. Put few pieces of ice in the cloth and wrap the cloth. Place the cloth on affected site. You can also use ice bag.
- From second or third day start applying warm compresses. It helps to increase circulation in the torn muscle and enhance healing of damaged muscle fibers.
- Epsom salt is natural remedy for alleviating pain and muscle soreness. Its muscle relaxing properties helps to increase range of motion and flexibility.
- Compression bandage will help in decreasing swelling. Apply it over the area for few days until your pain and swelling has reduced.
- Drink juice of red cherry. The antioxidant property present in cherry helps to reduce swelling and pain present in strained muscles.