April 28, 2010

Muscle Strain Treatment

Most muscle strains can be treated with the RICE protocol. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Rest: Take a break from the activity that caused the strain. Your physician may recommend that you use crutches to avoid putting weight on the leg.

Ice: Do not apply ice directly to the skin, but you can use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Compression: To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage.

Elevation: To minimize swelling, keep your leg up higher than your heart.

Your doctor may recommend aspirin, ibuprofen or another analgesic for pain relief. As the pain and swelling subside, physical therapy will help improve range of motion and strength. The muscle should be at full strength and pain-free before you return to sports.

For my calf muscles I am looking at two weeks for a full recovery. With some stretching and easy walking after the first week. I am really trying to focus on hearing what my body is telling me.

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