Proper attention can help heal strains, sprains and pulled muscles that occur as you participate in your favorite athletic activities.
From childhood, athletes are often told to shake off pain and push through for the sake of the game. As a result, many adults are left with injuries that never heal, causing chronic pain and disability later in life. But paying attention to your body can pay dividends in the big picture. Injuries such as pulled muscles and simple sprains can often be treated at home through the use of traditional remedies that your mom may have recommended when you were just a teenager. And recovery can often be summed up in one simple word: RICE.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the following recommendations are very effective for treating a minor injury that is not causing sharp, shooting pain:
Rest. Resist the urge to participate in activity if you have experienced an injury. Take a few days off. Use a crutch if you need to take the weight off of a foot or a leg. Avoid overexertion so you can heal more quickly and get back to doing the things you love.
Ice. Apply a cold compress to the area of injury several times a day. Leave the cold pack in place for about 20 minutes at a time.
Compression. Reduce swelling by applying pressure with an elastic bandage on the injured area of the body. Talk with your doctor about what will help you heal most effectively.
Elevation. Resting your injured limb above your heart will help reduce swelling. Use a pillow to prop up the injured area while you’re reading, sleeping or watching TV.