As we learned in "Muscle Strain – Symptoms and Self Care", a muscle strain is no walk in the park, nor should it be taken lightly. Even a little muscle soreness needs proper attention so you do not injure it worse. It many cases of a muscle strain, people don’t realize the extent of their injury because what starts as a small muscle pull can eventually tear if you continually add stress and pressure to the injury.
However, when the damage has already been done and treatment is in order, how do you know when it is safe to resume normal activity? Let’s break it down. In general, swelling and bruising should be almost completely subsided. You should feel stable enough to use the muscle in a light capacity. Any activity or movement that increases muscle pain should be restricted until the pain is nearly gone.
It is important to note that each injury will require a different amount of recovery time, so be patient. If it doesn’t feel right to do something, it probably isn’t. Use your instincts and best judgment. Go ahead, nurse yourself a little. No one else is going to! When I injured my groin, as much pain as I was in, I milked it for what it was worth. Spending some time vegging out on the couch – which is a rare occasion for me – really let my whole body take a breather. I caught up on all my favorite shows, ate lots of mint chocolate chip ice cream and had my little sister doing my homework – that last part might be a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea. These days, everyone is over worked, under paid, on the go, and never gets five minutes to sit, breathe, and relax. In the real world, you may not have a week to sit on the couch and be a bum, especially with three kids, two dogs, and a husband to keep track of, but remind yourself that you are only human, and if you are in pain, sore or just plain exhausted, don’t be afraid to call it a day. The world will not stop turning and cancer will not be cured in the 24 hour span that you shut down. So, take advantage and rest.
Another thing you can do in aiding your recovery is to drink a lot of water. Muscles are 80 percent water. Therefore, the more clean water flowing through your muscle fibers, the faster they can start to heal – like feeding flowers water, sort of.
Whether you have experienced a muscle strain or not, it is no secret that it is an unpleasant experience. Therefore, in attempts to ward off this injury, use these tips to prevent a strain that can keep you sidelined in pain.
1) Maintain a healthy well-balanced diet to keep muscles strong.
2) Avoid strenuous activity when experiencing pain.
3) Stretch, stretch and stretch some more.
4) Always start easy and gradually work into a hard run, heavy lifting or difficult work out.
No matter what you do or how safe you play it, you are always susceptible to a muscle strain because you are only human. However, it is important to make all attempts at preventing one and keeping your body and weight in check.