Helping pulled muscles heal: Tip of the Day 10/3/22
A strained muscle can seem like it takes forever to heal. Researchers say healing can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks for a mild strain, and several months for more serious injuries. There's no way to get out of resting the muscle... but there is a such thing as resting it too much. And there are some other things experts say you can do to speed up your recovery.
Good sources of zinc include red meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds, and dairy. Good sources of Vitamin C include papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple, citrus fruit, and tomatoes. To speed muscle recovery, you might want to ask your doctor about increasing the daily recommended dosages of these nutrients.
Practicing RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is also recommended for a more speedy muscle recovery. Rest means stop doing anything activities that cause discomfort. Gentle movement can help keep the muscle spry. Resting a strained muscle for too long can cause stiffness or weakness. Light stretching can help your muscle stay agile, as long as pain isn’t severe. When using ice, apply it to the muscle for 15-20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation and bruising. Compress the affected muscle with an elastic wrap to keep inflammation to a minimum. Finally, elevate the injured area to decrease swelling.
It's important to know the difference between a mild strain and a more serious injury. Sharp, severe pain should be treated by your doctor.