Here’s how to deal with a pulled muscle during workout

Published: 13 Apr 2023, 10:30 am IST

Exercising regularly helps enhance a person’s mood by boosting energy levels. Engaging in physical activities helps manage weight, improve brain health, strengthen bones and muscles, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. However, every person should be mindful of overexerting the body while working out as it leads to numerous injuries such as a muscle strain or pulled muscle, a condition where the muscles are overstretched or torn. Exercises must be done under expert guidance initially to help you get your posture corrected and to understand the right way of doing it, to prevent muscle injuries, aches, and pains.

Here’s everything you need to know about a muscle pull during workout and what you can do to make the pain go away.

How does muscle strain occur?

A muscle strain is accompanied by a popping or snapping sensation indicating that the muscle tissue is stretched excessively. This can especially happen in certain sections of the body, such as the lower back, neck, shoulder or hamstring muscle which is located in the back of the thigh. In simple words, muscle strain happens when you tear a muscle, and it can be painful. Bruising and weakness of the muscles are common signs of muscle strain.

Also Read: Pulled a muscle? Try these 5 yoga poses for quick pain relief

muscle strain
Know what causes muscle strain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Treatment for a pulled muscle

The treatment procedure for a pulled muscle depends upon the type and severity of the injury. For a minor pulled muscle, anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or aspirin are recommended to reduce swelling and pain. Most muscle strains can be properly treated by the RICE method to prevent further complications.

What is the RICE method?

One popular method for pulled muscle is the RICE method which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In this method, a person is required to follow these steps:

  • Take adequate rest by avoiding physical strenuous activities to help heal the strained muscle.
  • Use cold packs to ice the strained muscle approximately four to eight times a day for a period of 20 minutes.
  • Compressing the strained muscle by exerting a steady, gentle pressure to prevent swelling and inflammation.
  • Elevating the injury area above the heart level by using pillows to raise the affected limb helps reduce swelling.
muscle pain
How to treat a muscle strain? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to prevent getting a pulled muscle?

A pulled muscle can be painful and there are several ways to avoid a muscle strain. To prevent straining the muscle again, you can follow these measures that can help you avoid the risk:

  • Allow sufficient time to heal the injured muscle.
  • Stretch the muscles daily with adequate pressure.
  • Choose alternative activities to strengthen your muscles.
  • Warm up before the workout.
  • Consume food that is high in potassium before exercising like bananas and avocados prevents muscle fatigue.
  • Staying hydrated during exercise.

It is important to recognise your limits while engaging in a workout to avoid serious problems like a muscle strain. While there are several ways to avoid the problem, if you still get muscle strain, consult a doctor first.

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