How to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery
May 27, 2021
A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use of a muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring, which is the muscle behind your thigh.
These strains can cause pain and may limit movement within the affected muscle group. Mild to moderate strains can be successfully treated at home with ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory medications. Severe strains or tears may require medical treatment.
We’ve all had that moment where you know you’ve overexerted yourself and pulled a muscle. Muscle strain, or pulled muscles, occur when the muscle is stretched too far or torn. It can often occur as a result of fatigue, overexertion, or improper use such as lifting an object incorrectly. While muscle strain can happen to any muscle, the most common muscle strains happen in the lower back, neck, hamstrings, and calves.
Not only can muscle strains be painful, but they slow you down when you’ve got a busy schedule! To help combat this setback, we’re examining ways for how to speed up muscle strain recovery time.
When you’re experiencing muscle strain, no doubt the first thing on your mind is how to heal it as quickly as possible. So then what helps muscle recovery? We’re exploring a few methods for how to speed up muscle strain recovery time that you can do from the comfort of home including:
- Apply ice or a cold compress immediately
- Alternate ice with heat therapy
- Perform simple low-impact exercises and stretching
- Knee and calf massage for leg muscle strain recovery
- Elevate the injured muscle
Apply Ice to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery Time
The very first thing for how to speed up muscle strain recovery time is to immediately apply ice or a cold compress to the injured muscle. You can start this by icing the area for ten minutes then taking ten minutes off. Repeat this process three times a day for the first few days and it may drastically help for how to speed up muscle strain recovery!
It’s important to note that you should never apply ice directly to the skin. When ice is directly applied to the skin, the underlying skin cells for ice crystals and blood flow stops. This deprivation can cause lasting damage to the tissue. A plastic bag is not enough of a safe barrier, either. Instead, always wrap ice or a cold compress in a thin towel before applying it to a muscle strain. Accidental ice burn is not what helps muscle recovery!
What Helps Muscle Recovery After Ice? Heat Therapy!
The next step in how to speed up muscle strain recovery time is to apply heat therapy after you’ve finished applying ice. Where ice may help prevent further injury at first, the benefits of heat therapy include speeding up the healing process with better blood flow, reducing swelling and inflammation, and keeping muscles loose.
While you could use a heating pad or warm towel, a luxury massage chair with heat therapy functions is ideal for the best experience. Heated massage chair features further enhance the multitude of other health benefits of massage chairs when it comes to how to speed up muscle strain recovery as they provide a full body experience.
Low-Impact Exercise and Stretching for Muscle Strain Recovery
When you’re thinking of how to speed up muscle recovery, rest is key, but so is a little bit of movement. While it may seem counterintuitive, low impact exercises and stretching are two activities that may surprise you on our list for what helps muscle recovery.
Simple exercises like leg swings keep your muscles loose and help avoid stiffness. This protects your mobility and flexibility as you heal. Light stretching also helps with your flexibility, soreness, and muscle stiffness. Both of these come together for how to speed up muscle recovery as they keep good blood flow through the injured area, bringing essential oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the damaged tissue and helping it heal more quickly.
If you’re unable to get up or you want to combine rest and stretching (oh yes, it’s possible!) then consider using a massage chair for muscle recovery. While some techniques like shiatsu massage are best left for treating muscle tension, gentler massage programs can be what helps muscle recovery go faster.
How to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery in the Legs
For pulled leg muscles, knee and calf massage help muscle strain, as well. Whether it’s part of a massage chair with knee and calf massage features or a separate foot and calf massager, they can help keep the area loose and stretch the muscles gently. You may even find heated foot and calf massagers that combine the benefits of massage and heat therapy for faster muscle strain recovery in the leg. That’s a winning combination!
Elevate Injured Muscles for How to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery
Last up in our exploration of how to speed up muscle strain recovery time is very simple: elevate it! Elevating the injured muscle can help prevent swelling, which may also be painful. Ideally, you want to elevate the injured muscle above the heart level to keep excess fluid from gathering at the site of the pulled muscle.
If you’ve pulled a leg muscle, a zero gravity reclining massage chair can be extremely beneficial here. Not only will you be experiencing the other health benefits of owning a massage chair, but the zero gravity position elevates your legs above the heart level. This position evenly distributes weight along your body and increases blood circulation. The increased blood circulation can be a major contributing factor for how to speed up muscle strain recovery and get you back on your feet in no time!
Knowing how to speed up muscle strain recovery time requires immediate treatment and using effective methods that help the body heal faster. From applying ice to choosing a massage chair for heat therapy, relaxation, and keeping muscles loose, your healing process can be hastened with smart decisions. While many small muscle strains can be treated effectively at home, for serious injuries it’s important to consult your primary care physician.
Want to know more about zero gravity chairs and massage chairs? Learn the difference between massage chairs and zero gravity recliners and how the best massage chairs may combine the benefits of both!