Muscle Strain

ExitCare ImageA muscle strain (pulled muscle) happens when a muscle is stretched beyond normal length. Usually, a few of the fibers in your muscle are torn. Muscle strain is common in athletes. It happens when a sudden, violent force stretches your muscle too far. Recovery usually takes 1–2 weeks. Complete healing takes 5–6 weeks.

HOME CARE

  • Put ice on the sore muscle for the first 2 days after the injury.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes at a time each hour.

  • Do not use the muscle if you have pain. Do not stress the muscle if you have pain.

  • Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage for comfort. Do not put it on too tightly.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

There is increased pain or puffiness (swelling) in the affected area.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.