Muscle Tear

A muscle tear is usually caused by over-exertion or stretching. The muscle often takes a while to heal. Muscle tears require 3 to 4 weeks to heal completely. A history of the injury and a physical exam may be performed. Sometimes, the injury is identified with radiographs and an MRI. Treatment for muscle injuries includes:

  • Resting and protecting the affected area until pain with motion is gone.

  • Putting ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • After two days, you can use heat to relieve spasms.

  • Using compression wraps to help control swelling and limit movement.

  • Raising (elevate) the injured area above the level of the heart (if possible) for the first 1 to 2 days after the injury.

  • Medicine may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.

Avoid strenuous activities that bring on muscle pain. Exercises to strengthen and stretch the injured muscle can help heal the muscle and prevent repeated injury. After the pain and swelling are gone, you may begin gradual strengthening exercises. Begin range-of-motion exercises and gentle stretching after 3 to 4 days of rest.


Your injured muscle is not improving after 1 week of treatment.