Does heat make a pulled muscle worse?
When to Use Heat
That’s not to say putting heat on an injury is out of the question — however, never apply heat to a new injury that is still swelling. Heat will make the swelling and pain worse, which is not what you want. You also should not apply heat if your body is already hot — for example, if you’re sweating.
Is ice or heat better for a pulled muscle?
The amount of swelling or local bleeding into the muscle (from torn blood vessels) can best be managed early by applying ice packs and maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position. Heat can be applied when the swelling has lessened. However, the early application of heat can increase swelling and pain.
Does heat help strained muscles?
Heat helps soothe sore muscles that cause back pain or neck pain. It works best for injuries that are at least few days old. Heat opens blood vessels, which can assist the healing process and alleviate some of your pain. Additionally, some arthritis pain from stiff joints can benefit from heat as blood flow increases.
How long does it take for a pulled muscle to heal?
For a mild strain, you may be able to return to normal activities within three to six weeks with basic home care. For more severe strains, recovery can take several months. In severe cases, surgical repair and physical therapy may be necessary. With proper treatment, most people recover completely.
How can I speed up muscle recovery?
Your doctor may recommend the following at-home treatments:
- Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay. …
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. …
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. …
- Elevation. …
- Medication. …
Does ice speed up healing?
Ice is effective for reducing pain, but it doesn’t speed up the healing process or reduce inflammation. If you want a quick, medicine-free painkiller, feel free to use ice. But if you want to get back to training as soon as possible, ice fails where active recovery succeeds.
How can you tell the difference between a muscle strain and muscle soreness?
The difference between soreness and a pulled muscle
With muscle soreness, you won’t feel it until a day to two later. With a pulled muscle, however, the pain is usually immediate.
What is the best treatment for a muscle strain?
- Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. …
- Ice. Even if you’re seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. …
- Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. …
How long should I ice a strained muscle?
Duration varies with technique; usually 20 to 30 minutes per session. (See “Options for applying ice.”) Ice may continue to be useful in treatment as long as there is pain, swelling, inflammation, or spasm. There is no need to switch to heat after 48 hours or alternate between ice and heat.
Should I ice a muscle strain?
Icing an injury typically takes place immediately after the injury occurs. Using a cold compress or ice pack on a strained muscle can decrease inflammation and numb pain in the area. Icing is effective at reducing pain and swelling because the cold constricts blood vessels and decreases circulation to the area.
How do you know if you’ve pulled a muscle?
Check if you have a sprain or strain
- you have pain, tenderness or weakness – often around your ankle, foot, wrist, thumb, knee, leg or back.
- the injured area is swollen or bruised.
- you cannot put weight on the injury or use it normally.
- you have muscle spasms or cramping – where your muscles painfully tighten on their own.