We will all get an injury some time in our lives – a muscle strain or joint sprain. They are painful but rarely last. They remind us to live more carefully. Sometimes injuries recover quickly but, doing something about it can help your body heal faster. Proper rehabilitation afterwards should prevent re-injury or lasting pain.
Muscles and tendons get strained (not sprained, that's ligaments and joints). Muscles create movement when thousands of overlapping fibres inside them pull on eachother, shortening the muscle in a contraction. Tendons fix the muscles onto the bone to anchor them for movement. Strained or ‘pulled’ muscles happen during overstretching or overloading. Muscles injure more easily if they are not trained and pushing muscles beyond their limits or not warming up also causes injury. Sometimes the pain comes straight away, but some injuries may take a few days to be felt.
Ice packing the area for short periods (one minute on, one minute off, repeated five or six times) stimulates the circulation very strongly, driving blood through the muscles and speeding up healing.
If the pain is fading in a day or two, change to alternae hot and cold on the strained muscle: A hot water bottle followed by an ice pack, applied for one minute each, repeated five or six times will keep blood flow high. Improving blood flow is crucial to healing. It helps to clear away waste substances from the cells and provides fresh oxygen and nutrients.
Keep moving gently too, resting is important but you need to be active and moving to recover properly.
If the pain hasn’t almost disappeeared within two or three days, then it’s time to make an appointment. Don’t leave it, the injury will continue to cause you pain and could get worse, developing into a chronic condition!
Book an appointment to have one of the team assess the injury. Then we can begin to fix things for you.
Part 2 will be all about joint and ligament sprains.
Member since: 17th August 2015
Bolton Osteopathic are the pre-eminent healthcare musculoskeletal specialists in Bolton. Award-winning, professional and well established, with many years of experience, you know you’re in safe hands.