What to Do for Strained Muscles

By Holly Merchant

Have you ever experienced the pain of a muscle strain? These symptoms may indicate that you have such an injury.

  • Local pain
  • Stiffness
  • Pain when resisting motion

A strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon. A muscle strain is a soft-tissue injury that is usually caused by a specific trauma, but it can also come from chronic or over-use motions. When the muscle is injured, it causes the fibers to tear and become inflamed.

When injury occurs, you should keep inflammation under control by using the “RICE” method.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevate

In addition, it is wise to support and protect the area of the strain.

Massage also helps to prevent recurring injury by using a cross-fiber friction technique that helps break up old scar tissue and encourages the new “scar tissue” to develop as softer tissue that is in line with the existing fibers. This means your muscles aren’t fighting themselves in order to move, and your body is less likely to re-tear in that area. Passive stretches can also help correct alignment of the fibers and encourage flexibility. Massage also helps to reduce swelling and improves blood circulation and mobility.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, use the “RICE” method; and call your doctor for acute medical support if you have experienced a severe injury. Then contact your massage therapist to schedule an appointment and experience how massage can decrease your pain, increase your range of motion, and allow you to work and play pain-free.

By Holly Merchant

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