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What to Do When You Pull a Muscle

Pulling a muscle, also called a muscle strain, is one of the most common injuries resulting from working out. When you regularly work out or play a sport, you’re more at risk of developing a muscle strain. Over 3 million people pull a muscle every year, this can range from a minor strain in the neck to a severe lower back injury where you won’t be able to walk for a certain amount of time. Even if you train efficiently and focus on your technique, eventually you will pull a muscle, and that’s totally normal.


There are ways that you can minimize the pain associated with pulling a muscle and quickly return your regular workout routines. When you pull a muscle, the symptoms include sudden pain, soreness, limited range of movement, bruising or discoloration, redness, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and weakness.


In the first 24 hours, the most efficient way to treat your injury is called RICE. This stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. The first thing you need to do is stop whatever caused the pulled muscle, then apply ice. Ice will provide immediate pain relief. The ice should be applied on the injured area for 20 minutes on and off. Then gently apply compression to the injured area with an elastic bandage, this will support the muscle and reduce swelling. Elevate the injury above the level of your heart as much as you can.


After 24 hours, you stop applying ice. Ice relieves pain and swelling but it does not heal the actual injury. In the next 2-3 weeks, the pain should be dwindling and you should be feeling close to normal. You know your body better than anyone, if you feel that you’re near 100% then you should go back to your normal workout routine. If you don’t feel up to it yet, give yourself some time and see a doctor if you’re concerned.


This update is brought to you by The Diesel Physique, spearheaded by licensed nutritionist Daniel “The Diesel” Sullivan. Learn more about the comprehensive body building program and order your bodybuilding ebook today get started on your optimum fitness journey.