Muscle Sprain - How It Can Be Treated?

Written and reviewed by
BPT, MPT- Ortho
Physiotherapist, Delhi  •  15years experience
Muscle Sprain - How It Can Be Treated?

Exercising and sports activities are necessary evils in your life. While they keep your body fit, you are also exposed to injuries at the same time. Of all the injuries, muscle strains are the most common ones. These might look very ordinary or minor, but remember there is an intense pain attached to it. So much so that you might even feel suicidal at times. Poor conditioning, over exertion and a faulty warm up session, can lead to muscle sprain. Strains are very common in certain regions like lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring muscle (at the back of the thigh).

Don’t need medical treatment
In most cases, muscle strains don’t need medical treatment. But it is important to provide the right supplies and rest to the victim. For treating a muscle sprain, you will need ice, plastic bag, towel, compression bandage, pillows and over-the-counter painkillers. You may also need certain devices to assist you, depending upon the area that has been affected. These devices include crutches, slings, braces and wheelchairs. These devices help in stabilising the affected area (especially the muscle there.)

RICE Method
As per the data by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the most effective way to treat muscle sprains is by following the Rice method. The word rice stands for- rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The patient must take adequate amount of rest and not undertake physical activities. He or she must give proper time for healing of the injury or wound, prior to resuming back regular activities. If the sprain is chronic, take total bed rest. It is often advised to apply ice compression to the affected area for about 8 to 10 times a day. Try to compress your muscle by putting mild pressure to avoid swelling or any kind of inflammation. For this, it is best to tie up a bandage around the affected part. It is generally advised to elevate the injured part above the heart to avoid or reduce the swelling of the area. Sometimes, physical therapy is also needed to treat the sprains.

Risks of strain treatment
There are certain risk factors associated with muscle strain treatment. It is bad to take too many painkillers as they can affect other organs like kidneys, gut and heart. You should also avoid applying the ice pack directly on the skin for a prolonged period. Also, if you undertake a surgery to fix muscle strain, you are at the risk of suffering bleeding, developing blood clots, infection, pain and stiffness. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Physiotherapist.

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