Muscle sprains are a common problem if you’re working out or playing sports on a regular basis. In fact, you can pull or sprain a muscle just about any time – getting up off a sofa, gardening, tripping and trying to steady yourself, or just over reaching to fetch an item off a shelf, all cause sprains and pulled muscles. The worse thing about a muscle sprain is that it can stop you exercising, so let’s look at what can be done to help.
Under extreme activities our muscles are under a lot of pressure, along with tendons and ligaments. If you sprain a muscle you may be in a lot of pain, or it might just feel stiff and tight. Either way, there is always some inflammation and discomfort. However, a muscle sprain is rarely a serious problem – some good old fashioned rest and relaxation is often the best cure.
Violently twisting a muscle is relatively common if you play sports, especially contact sports. Painful and swollen joints can result from this type of muscle sprain, which often results from stretched or torn ligaments in the joints. Some people with severe or repeated sprains may suffer chronic joint pain with associated weakening, so it is important to treat these sprains early.
Causes of Muscle Sprains
As mentioned, anybody can get a muscle sprain, but sports players are especially affects. For instance, soccer players mostly face this problem because they shift movement rapidly with their foot planted. In the result, the ligaments on the outer side of the ankles roll either inwards or outwards resulting in a severe sprain. It is harmful to the ligaments on the inner side of the ankle.
Pulled muscles such as these can be mild and severe, depending on if just the muscle is sprained or if this ligament is damaged. If you have had a mild sprain, then the ankle becomes stiff, swollen and tender. It is a manageable situation and you should be able to walk with just a little pain. In case of a serious sprain, a you will suffer more tenderness in the ankle along with bruising, and walking will be very painful, if you can walk at all.
The worse sprain results in a torn ligament – this causes severe pain. The affected area will swell and bruise instantly and the muscle will be tender to touch. It will hurt on touching and you won’t want to move at all – you certainly won’t be able to put weight on the sprained muscle. More swelling and higher pain means there is serious injury and it will take a long time to heal. You will usually need A&E assessment along with an X-ray.
The following advice was collated with the help of Julia Dellitt’s article on What Should I Do For A Pulled Muscle?
The first thing to do is stop and assess the situation – don’t try to run it off until you know how serious it is. Also, don’t try to stretch it out. Both will cause further injury if you have a serious sprain.
In case of chronic pain, patients have to take painkillers. They cannot walk or move, so they have to take rest. For walking or moving they use crutches because it helps in moving without pain. After the incident of 24 to 72 hours, a patient has to apply ice compresses for reducing swelling. Ibuprofen and paracetamol should be taken to reduce swelling and pain.
Elastic Compression Bandage
Apply an elastic compression bandage on your foot. It gives relief from pain and heals up the torn ligament. The elevation is the best remedy to prevent pain. If there is an ankle sprain, then patients are suggested to keep the ankle above the heart level. It reduces bruising and swelling.
The therapeutic massage is vital for getting relief from pain and stiffness of muscles. You can benefit from general massage to help injury prevention, as well as injury relief. Massage can also help with accelerated surgery recovery and athletic mobility. However, always take advice from a physio first as massage without a correct diagnosis can make a problem worse.
Steam Rooms and Sauna
A session in a steam room enhances blood circulation or blood flow towards your muscles. It provides relaxation to the tensed muscles and keeps the affected muscles warm to relieve pain. The heat also decreases the lactic acid build up and can improve heart rate and decreases the stress. In this way, it can be better therapy for maintaining good blood pressure.
Take Some Bed Rest
Finally, stop all the activities and do not put a strain on the sprained muscle. Bed rest can help with lymphatic drainage which can further aid relief and recovery.
Sprains can be very unpleasant and put a halt to your fitness regime, but the best way to overcome them is with a combination of rest, relaxation, therapeutic treatment and some medication. Always consult a doctor or qualified physiotherapist.