Natural Treatment for Strained or Pulled Muscles
We’d have a pretty hard time getting around without our muscles.
Muscle cells act as filaments that slide across each other; each contraction modifies the cell’s shape and length. It’s how the body moves, applies force, and transports us from here to there.
We’re used to standing up and beginning a task immediately after the thought occurs to us. But what happens when the task ends up pushing those muscles too far?
Then the fibers that make up those muscles can tear.
Extending a muscle past its limits can immediately overstretch or tear it. Repetitive motion can also have the same effect, even if the muscle isn’t pushed as far.
Strained or pulled muscles can be a problem in the lower back and adjacent areas that support the weight of the upper body.
But significant physical stress can also strain muscles in the neck, chest, thigh, shoulder, hip, buttocks and pelvis. The hamstring muscles behind the knee are also vulnerable, as many runners have found.
How do you know you if you just strained or pulled a muscle?
Oh, you’ll know. And soon. The dull, achy pain can be pretty rough, especially when moving, bending or standing. Cramping, stiffness, spasms and tenderness can also add to your misery. Getting out of bed in the morning will become your least favorite time of day.
The swelling is another giveaway, as blood is quickly sent to the injured area to help protect and restore it.
Pain that starts in the lower back can spread to the hips and buttocks. But if it goes as far as the calves and feet, have yourself checked for sciatica.
Avoiding strains and pulled muscles.
If you’re playing contact sports, sooner or later your body will be twisted in a way that will tear a muscle. So you’re safer in the stands than on the field, but of course it’s not as much fun.
The repetitive motions of rowing, golf and baseball can also contribute to pulled muscles, but perhaps less so if you have a good warm-up routine before competing.
Aside from sports, we already know the dangers of lifting heavy stuff, but sometimes we put that excessive pressure on our spines anyway. And often, we pay the price. Can you take that load up the stairs in two trips instead of one? There’s a smart human.
Overall, good posture is good policy, because slouching puts pressure on the lower back muscles … day after day after day.
Treating strains and pulled muscles.
Rest! Park yourself in a recliner, sofa or bed, with legs elevated, to allow those poor muscles to relax.
Ice pack or heat pack? Use an ice pack right after the injury, then switch to heat packs two days later.
Compression socks or sleeves, or a brace, can help reduce swelling and pain, if they’ll work on the affected part of your body.
Specific stretching, exercise or rehab routines can help you heal. Physical Therapists may also show you better ways to move, in life, and in your favorite sport. Afterwards, treat yourself to a massage.
Over-the-counter pain meds like acetaminophen can offer relief. So can anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or aspirin. Doctors can prescribe muscle relaxants. But all these measures are temporary, and only treat symptoms rather than the muscle tear itself.
The problem often resolves itself in a couple of weeks.
But more serious muscle strains that continue to cause pain require a trip to the doc. There, they’ll determine if it’s actually muscle strain or a spine-related issue, which can have similar symptoms.
As far as treatment, people suffering for at least two months now have a new option, which is more natural and less invasive than some traditional medical approaches.
Welcome to Regenerative Medicine.
This relatively new branch of medicine offers new hope for all kinds of physical issues, with the potential for even more amazing possibilities in the future.
‘Regen Med’ works by injecting the injured area with ‘biological products’ produced naturally in the human body. These include growth, healing and anti-inflammatory factors.
Stem cells in some cases can repair or even grow new cells. Blood flow is enhanced, which brings what the injured area needs. Cytokines direct specific healing activity. And DNA and mRNA can also supply ‘instructions’ for proper healing.
With all that good healing, people generally report feeling better after regenerative medical treatment. Depending on the person’s injury and overall health, specific results can vary.
For example, a bad hamstring tear, or one that has been torn multiple times, can’t expect the same recovery as a minor first-time tear.