As an athlete, there is nothing more frustrating than a muscle strain. Many athletes get so frustrated that they end up rushing back to their sport before completely healing. Doing this can be dangerous and can contribute to turning a moderate muscle strain into a nagging injury. So, without rushing back before you’re healed, how can you reduce muscle strain recovery time and actually get back to your sport faster AND healed?
Here we’ll outline our six steps to reducing your muscle strain recovery time the right way!
Step 1: Reduce the swelling & pain
When you’ve first strained a muscle, the only thing that you should be worried about is reducing your pain and swelling. This is when the R.I.C.E. treatment should be utilized. Rest the injured area and immediately stop your activity, ice, compress, and elevate the affected muscle to help reduce swelling. As with any injury, you want to eliminate pain and swelling as quickly as possible so that your body may begin to heal.
Step 2: Learn about your injury
You can’t heal something quickly if you don’t know what your injury really is or how severe it is. We recommend taking our FREE Injury Assessment to give our Injury Specialists an opportunity to identify your injury and how best to treat it.
From there, we recommend purchasing the suggested Injury Treatment Kit for your injury based on your pain level, age, requirements, and more.
Step 3: Heat it up
As we’ve established in other blog posts, the R.I.C.E. treatment should be used very sparingly. It is meant to help reduce swelling and pain immediately after injury, but actually hinders healing after that period. We’ve been conditioned to think that R.I.C.E. is the best treatment for everything from a strained muscle to a sprained ankle, but in fact it’s heat that helps the body heal. We recommend moving from ice to heat after 48 hours to heal your injury.
Step 4: Use the kit
Once you receive your Injury Treatment Kit, start using it immediately. The sooner you start using it, the sooner you’ll heal. At this point you should also begin light stretching (as long as pain has subsided) and use a foam roller. You want to do everything possible to help your body remove the toxins that have built up in your injured muscle.
Step 5: Start training
Like we mentioned before, rushing back to your sport before your body is actually ready for it can move your moderate muscle strain to a chronic injury, which is the last thing that you want to happen. In this step, you should complete use of the kit (be sure to use the full kit), and once the pain is gone you can begin strength exercises.
Obviously, don’t rush back into it. Start off light and only increase weight as long as there is no pain.
We also recommend utilizing your lifetime membership to the Athlete Advantage. In the Athlete Advantage you’ll find specific exercises for your injury, tips on returning to your sport, and much more.
Step 6: Prevent your next muscle strain
At this point, you should be just about back to 100% and ready to resume activity in your sport. Woohoo! But, you don’t want to go through this process again anytime soon. We’ve got additional FREE resources to help you avoid future injuries! Download them now and follow their processes in order to stay healthy the rest of your season and into the future! You can thank us later. 😉
Speaking of those additional resources. Here are a few that you may find useful! Download them all now for free!