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Health Questions

Muscle strain treatment

Alternative Names

Treatment - muscle strain

Information

Question:

How do you treat a muscle strain?

Answer:

Rest and ice for the first few days after the injury. Anti-inflammatory medications or acetaminophen (Tylenol) also can be helpful to reduce pain and swelling in the first few days after the injury. As the pain decreases, using heat helps, along with stretching and light exercises to bring blood to the injured area.

Seek immediate medical help if you have a lot of swelling with the muscle strain or if you can't move your arms, legs, or joints.

See also: Strains - first aid

References

Brinker MR, O’Connor DP, Almekinders LC, et al. Physiology of Injury to Musculoskeletal Structures: 1. Muscle and Tendon Injury. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 1, section A.

Geiderman JM, Katz D. General principles of orthopedic injuries. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 46.

Chudnofsky CR, Byers SE. Splinting techniques. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 50.


Review Date: 5/1/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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