In short, the chemical properties of Icy Hot cannot penetrate deep enough into your muscles to cause any substantial healing, but they can provide a temporary relief by stimulating the nerves near your skin and blocking pain signals.
Should I use heat or ice on a pulled muscle?
The amount of swelling or local bleeding into the muscle (from torn blood vessels) can best be managed early by applying ice packs and maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position. Heat can be applied when the swelling has lessened. However, the early application of heat can increase swelling and pain.
What is best for a pulled muscle?
For immediate self-care of a muscle strain, try the R.I.C.E. approach — rest, ice, compression, elevation: Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort.
How long does it take for a pulled muscle to heal?
For a mild strain, you may be able to return to normal activities within three to six weeks with basic home care. For more severe strains, recovery can take several months. In severe cases, surgical repair and physical therapy may be necessary. With proper treatment, most people recover completely.
Should you massage a pulled muscle?
Massage. Therapeutic massage helps loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow to help heal damaged tissues. Applying pressure to the injured muscle tissue also helps remove excess fluid and cellular waste products. A 2012 study found that massage immediately following an injury may even speed strained muscle healing.
How can I speed up muscle recovery?
How to treat a pulled muscle
- Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay. …
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. …
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. …
- Elevation. …
- Medication. …
Can a doctor do anything for a pulled muscle?
Most muscle injuries won’t require medical treatment in a doctor’s office. Ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, compression and elevation can relieve muscle pain and soreness.
Can a pulled muscle get worse?
A tear is a severe strain that will need medical attention. If the pain from an injury gets worse instead of better, this can signify that a person should seek medical attention. Other symptoms that indicate the need to visit a doctor include: severe swelling that makes it difficult to move the injured area.
Should I stretch a pulled muscle?
While it may seem counterintuitive, stretching a strained muscle only makes it worse. Your best bet involves avoiding any movement that agitates the affected area and continue to rest until the pain subsides.
Can a muscle strain take months to heal?
Recovery depends on the location and severity of your muscle strain. In general, almost all Grade I strains heal within a few weeks, whereas Grade II strains may take two to three months or longer.
How can you tell the difference between a muscle strain and muscle soreness?
Telling the difference can be difficult, if you don’t know what to look out for. With muscle soreness, you won’t feel it until a day to two later. With a pulled muscle however, the pain is usually immediate.
Can a pulled muscle never heal?
After this inflammatory phase, the muscle begins to heal by regenerating muscle fibers from stem cells that live around the area of injury. However, a significant amount of scar tissue also forms where the muscle was injured. Over time, this scar tissue remodels, but the muscle tissue never fully regenerates.
Does a pulled muscle get worse before it gets better?
If your muscle strain is mild or moderate, the pain usually goes away within a couple of weeks. Severe strains can take a couple of months or more to heal. The pain is usually at its worst for the first few hours or days. After that, less intense pain may continue for another week or two until your muscles heal.
Does a pulled muscle hurt to touch?
A pulled muscle can sometimes feel tender to the touch. It may also feel like there is a tight “knot” in the muscle. Range of motion is often restricted with a pulled muscle. You may not be able to fully straighten or extend your arm or leg.