6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery (2023)

You often know the second it happens — there’s a tell-tale pinching or popping sensation as the muscle is pushed past its limit. And then the pain, swelling, and stiffness start to set in. Suddenly, all the training sessions on the schedule are out, and you have to shift your focus to rest. Frustrating doesn’t begin to cut it.

While muscle strains are guaranteed to set back your goals for some amount of time, there are ways to speed up the process of muscle healing and recovery. We dug into the research and looked at the science-backed strategies that can help you retain your gains and support muscle repair so you can get back to training faster.

6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery (1)

Editor’s note: The content onBarBendis meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

What Are Muscle Strains?

Muscle strains — an injury that results from a muscle being stretched or extended too far or contracted too forcefully — are common.

Anytime you’re pushing your body to the max, there’s the possibility of straining a muscle. This type of injury is especially common among athletes. Muscle strains can also occur if tired or sore muscles become overworked or when muscles are over-extended or forced to contract too strongly during daily activities like lifting a heavy box or unloading groceries from the car. (1)

A muscle strain can range in severity from mild to a full rupture. Mild to moderate strains often involve similar symptoms (including soreness, stiffness, and reduced strength in the affected area) to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that is common after starting a new workout regimen or a particularly strenuous training session. But the pain from a muscle strain tends to be more localized and intense. Most mild to moderate muscle strains will heal on their own within 48 hours to a few weeks. (2)

In more severe cases, the muscle may tear all the way through or be severed from its tendon. These strains (called class III strains) can cause complete loss of muscle function as well as extreme pain, swelling, and bruising or discoloration. Severe strains may require surgery to repair.

If you suspect your muscle strain is severe or your symptoms haven’t improved within two weeks, be sure to see your health care provider or physical therapist for a diagnosis and rehabilitation plan to ensure the muscle can heal properly.

6 Ways to Help Muscle Strain Recovery

No matter how severe your muscle strain is, there are strategies you can use to support muscle repair, reduce pain and soreness, and fast-track healing. Just as taking a day off is essential to promoting recovery after resistance training sessions, resting the strained muscle is the most important thing you can do to give the muscle time to repair itself. Other smart strategies include incorporating active recovery workouts to stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling and eating a nutritious diet that supplies muscles with the fuel necessary to rebuild tissue.

Read on for a more in-depth look at some science-backed ways to speed up recovery from a muscle strain.

Find Ways to Relax

Mental stress can sabotage your muscles’ ability to recover from an injury, according to a recent study from the Yale Stress Center.

Researchers had students complete a psychological test measuring stress levels before doing a bout of strenuous resistance exercise, then looked at markers of recovery over a four-day period. In every metric, higher stress levels were associated with worse recovery. (7) Scientists believe that cortisol and other stress hormones promote cellular inflammation, which can slow healing and the recovery of muscle function.

To get a handle on mental stress, try practicing mindful meditation or deep breathing. Or take up some relaxing activities, like soaking in a warm bath, spending time with loved ones, or playing with your pet.

If you need extra help finding time to relax, try cannabidiol (CBD). This cannabinoid, found in cannabis and hemp plants, can reduce stress in your mind and body.

CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system, a part of the central nervous system that regulates things like mood, sleep, and appetite. Either by itself or mixed into your favorite beverage, CBD is the ultimate all-natural way to find calm. (12)

Massage Your Way to Relief

Muscle strains can leave you sore, stiff, and achy, but there are ways to get relief: Over-the-counter pain medications — such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or Advil — and topical pain relievers can offer some temporary relief and help reduce swelling.

Foam rolling and other sports massage techniques can also be beneficial. The external physical stimulation works to relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and break up scar tissues, which can dial down pain. Plus, massage increases the flow of healing oxygen to the affected area, helping to promote recovery.

One meta-analysis of 99 studies looking at recovery methods found that massage was one of the most effective techniques for reducing inflammatory markers and recovering from delayed-onset muscle soreness. (8)

FOCL Relief Cream

6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery (2)

FOCL Relief Cream

Feeling sore? This cream contains 500mg of CBD, botanicals, and menthol to create a soothing effect for your muscles.


Prioritize Sleep

When you are fast asleep, the body pumps out important hormones involved in muscle building and repair, including human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IG-1), and testosterone. Short yourself on zzz’s and you also miss out on the recovery-promoting benefits of these hormones. (9)

Sleep deprivation may slow your recovery. One study found that people who didn’t get sufficient sleep at night had higher levels of inflammation and decreased levels of protein synthesis (a process key to muscle repair) — factors that can lead to the loss of lean muscle mass. (10) Aim to get at least eight hours of quality sleep each night to support your recovery.

Hint: For even faster recovery, consider snacking on a protein-rich bite (like a whey protein shake or hard-boiled egg) shortly before bed. A study found that subjects who consumed about 28 grams of protein before going to sleep saw significantly greater muscle mass and strength gains over 12 weeks than those who skipped the bedtime snack. (11)

FOCL Night

6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery (3)

FOCL Night

Rest easy after taking a single serving of this formula made up of premium hemp CBD + five botanicals — including passion flower, hops cones, and ashwagandha.


Consume the Right Fuel for Repair

Eating enough calories — specifically, the right amount of protein — is critical to providing your muscles with the raw materials they need to rebuild muscle tissue. That’s because muscles are primarily made up of protein and use the amino acids found in protein-rich foods (such as chicken breast, steak, a scoop of protein powder, tofu, and eggs) to repair damaged tissue.

How much protein you need is dependent on your activity level and your size. Research suggests aiming for about two to two and a half grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to optimally maintain muscle mass while physical activity is reduced. (4)

Also smart: Filling your plate with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can help combat inflammation, which may help reduce pain and swelling. Produce that is rich in the red and purple plant pigments called anthocyanins (including berries, cherries, grapes, red cabbage, and beets) have been shown to be especially effective for reducing muscle soreness. (5)

Incorporate Active Recovery

Strenuous workouts are out while your muscle strain is healing, but that doesn’t mean you should stop moving completely. Lower-intensity workouts, like walking, yoga, and stretching, help to stimulate blood flow and flush out lactic acid buildup — two factors that contribute to muscle soreness.

Early return to low-impact activity also promotes muscle repair and regeneration and helps restore the flexibility and strength of the injured muscle. This can help you maintain your strength and protect against additional injury when you do get back to training. (6)

Visualize Your Recovery

Resting a strained muscle may put you out of commission at the gym, but you can still put your mind to work maintaining your strength gains and supporting muscle repair and recovery.

A recent Ohio State University study found that simply imagining exercising was enough to trick muscles into delaying atrophy and even increase muscle strength.

Researchers put two groups of study participants in a cast designed to immobilize one wrist for four weeks. One group was instructed to sit and visualize flexing their arm muscles for 11 minutes at least five days a week. The other group didn’t receive any directions. At the end of the study when the casts were removed, those in the group who did the mental exercise had nearly two times stronger wrist muscles than the group who didn’t visualize training. (3)

Two Products to Try

Looking for more of an edge? Here are two products from FOCL that, when combined with the tactics outlined above, can help you recover.

FOCL Relief Cream

To make your massage even more effective, try rubbing FOCL’s Relief Cream on the affected area. It combines the pain-relieving properties of FOCL’s premium CBD with a mix of powerful botanicals that will take your post-workout massage to the next level.

6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery (4)

Besides 500 milligrams of CBD, the Relief Cream has camphor oil which helps alleviate pain, swelling, and stiffness; potent anti-inflammatories like arnica, shea butter, and aloe vera; and menthol, eucalyptus, and wintergreen oil which deliver a cooling relief that relaxes your muscles further.

Integrate this cream into your daily massage routine and speed your recovery naturally. Use it consistently to prevent injuries and strains from even happening so you can always perform at your highest.

FOCL Night

The secret to getting more restful and restorative sleep may be supplementing with FOCL Night. This premium supplement features hemp CBD and five study-backed botanical ingredients designed to help you fall asleep faster and more deeply.

6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery (5)

How it works: If you have trouble quieting your mind, CBD organic passion flower and valerian root will help relax the body, quiet your thoughts, and encourage your mind to drift off peacefully. The adaptogen ashwagandha supports hormone balance and helps the mind and body bounce back from the harmful effects of stress. Meanwhile, organic hop cones and Griffonia simplicifolia support healthy sleep-wake cycles and help optimize the production of serotonin and melatonin, so you can get on a more regular sleep schedule.

When used consistently, most people find that FOCL Night helps the quality of their sleep and their sleep cycle improve over time — and getting deep, restful sleep night after night helps them thrive at work, at the gym, and everywhere else.

About FOCL

Rooted on the firm belief that when you feel better, you perform better, FOCL is on a mission to create the most effective all-natural supplements to help you perform at your best in all areas of your life.

FOCL offers an array of plant-powered solutions to help you live a stress- and anxiety-free life, sleep better, be in the present moment, and alleviate physical discomfort.

All FOCL products are made in a food-grade GMP-compliant manufacturing facility with only organic ingredients that have been third-party tested and TRU-ID tested to ensure the best quality. Their products are vegan, free from GMOs, sweeteners, gluten, parabens, and additives.

Their commitment to the highest standards in formulation and production is followed by clear labeling, so you know precisely what you’re taking. Every product also comes with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.


  1. Muscle Strain. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/muscle-strain-a-to-z
  2. Dueweke JJ, Awan TM, Mendias CL. Regeneration of Skeletal Muscle After Eccentric Injury. J Sport Rehabil. 2017 Apr;26(2):171-179. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2016-0107.
  3. Slimani M, Tod D, Chaabene H, Miarka B, Chamari K. Effects of Mental Imagery on Muscular Strength in Healthy and Patient Participants: A Systematic Review. J Sports Sci Med. 2016 Aug 5;15(3):434-450. PMID: 27803622
  4. Tipton KD. Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries. Sports Med. 2015 Nov;45 Suppl 1:S93-104. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0398-4. PMID: 26553492
  5. Ives, S.J., Bloom, S., Matias, A. et al. Effects of a combined protein and antioxidant supplement on recovery of muscle function and soreness following eccentric exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 21 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0179-6
  6. Järvinen TA, Järvinen TL, Kääriäinen M, Aärimaa V, Vaittinen S, Kalimo H, Järvinen M. Muscle injuries: optimising recovery. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Apr;21(2):317-31. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2006.12.004.
  7. Stults-Kolehmainen MA, Bartholomew JB, Sinha R. Chronic psychological stress impairs recovery of muscular function and somatic sensations over a 96-hour period. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jul;28(7):2007-17. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000335.
  8. Dupuy O, Douzi W, Theurot D, Bosquet L, Dugué B. An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Front Physiol. 2018 Apr 26;9:403. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00403.
  9. Chennaoui M, Vanneau T, Trignol A, Arnal P, Gomez-Merino D, Baudot C, Perez J, Pochettino S, Eirale C, Chalabi H. How does sleep help recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries? J Sci Med Sport. 2021 Oct;24(10):982-987. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2021.05.007.
  10. Dattilo M, Antunes HK, Medeiros A, Mônico Neto M, Souza HS, Tufik S, de Mello MT. Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Aug;77(2):220-2. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.04.017.
  11. Snijders T, Res PT, Smeets JS, van Vliet S, van Kranenburg J, Maase K, Kies AK, Verdijk LB, van Loon LJ. Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men. J Nutr. 2015 Jun;145(6):1178-84. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.208371.
  12. Zou S, Kumar U. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Mar 13;19(3):833. doi: 10.3390/ijms19030833. PMID: 29533978; PMCID: PMC5877694.


6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery? ›

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.

What helps muscle strain heal faster? ›

  1. Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. ...
  2. Ice. Even if you're seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. ...
  3. Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. ...
  4. Elevation.
Oct 11, 2022

How long does a strained muscle take 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.

What are the 4 stages of muscle healing? ›

This concise review provides a sight about the various phases of muscle repair and regeneration, namely degeneration, inflammation, regeneration, remodeling and maturation.

Should I massage a strained muscle? ›

Massage therapy is a great way to treat muscle strains, which helps increase blood flow and relax the muscles while reducing the pain associated with strained muscles. It can also help prevent further injury to the muscle during intense workouts or daily activities.

What foods help heal muscle strains? ›

The 10 Best Muscle Recovery Foods and Drinks
  • Tart cherry juice. Drinking tart cherry juice may benefit both trained athletes and novice gym-goers alike. ...
  • Watermelon and watermelon juice. Watermelon is sweet, hydrating, and loaded with nutrients. ...
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Pomegranate juice. ...
  • Beet juice. ...
  • Whey protein shakes. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Dairy.
Aug 19, 2021

What not to do with a muscle strain? ›

Muscle Strain Treatment Self-Care at Home

Never apply ice or heat to bare skin. Always use a protective covering such as a towel between the ice or heat and the skin. Pain relievers. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and improve your ability to move around.

Can a muscle strain heal in 5 days? ›

For most with grade I muscle strains, healing time takes about 2-4 weeks. You can typically expect a full recovery in about 2 months for those with a grade II strain. If you experience a grade III strain, healing time depends on the type of surgery you receive and could take anywhere from 6 to 9 months or longer.

What are 3 symptoms of a muscle strain? ›

Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and may include:
  • Pain or tenderness.
  • Redness or bruising.
  • Limited motion.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Swelling.
  • Muscle weakness.
Oct 11, 2022

Do muscles heal stronger after a strain? ›

One instance of “regeneration” is when you're sore after exercise and your body knits together the micro-tears in your muscles you sustained by working out intensely. In this case of regeneration, the muscle heals stronger than before.

Does ibuprofen help heal muscle strains? ›

No, in most cases anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen or naproxen) don't help healing. In fact, in some cases it may even delay healing.

Should you heat a pulled muscle? ›

A pulled muscle should first be treated using the R.I.C.E. method. During the first 72 hours, heat should be avoided to prevent increased swelling and inflammation. After about 72 hours, heat can be incorporated into treatment to increase blood flow and aid the overall healing process.

Is it good to stretch pulled muscles? ›

Should you stretch a strained or pulled muscle? Like we mentioned above, the best thing to do for your pulled muscle is to rest it. Physical Therapist Lewis says “You would want to avoid stretching the muscle for a few days to allow the acute injury to begin to heal.

How does a torn muscle feel? ›

Symptoms of Torn Muscles

Expect pain and soreness, as well as spasms and swelling in the affected area. Depending on the severity of the strain, you may find it difficult to move the area, if at all. You may note swelling as well as bruising and discoloration accompanied by a “knotted up” feeling or stiffness.

Is it better to stretch or relax a pulled muscle? ›

Should I Rest or Stretch My Pulled Muscle? The most important thing you can do for a pulled muscle is resting it. Even if it's light stretching, continuing to stress a pulled muscle could result in further damage to muscle and a much longer healing time.

Why is my muscle not healing? ›

You're Not Getting Enough Nutrients

Your body needs nutrients like calcium to repair and fortify bones, and protein to rebuild muscle tissue. “There's no way you can keep restoring muscle and bone if you're not ingesting enough,” Martin says.

What is the best medicine for muscle pain? ›

Simple pain relievers such as paracetamol can be used to reduce muscle pain. Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can reduce pain and be helpful in reducing the inflammation that contributes to muscle pain.

Do bananas help with muscle strains? ›

Like most fruit, bananas are a great food to eat after a workout. Doing so can reduce inflammation and replenish muscle glycogen stores, ultimately promoting quicker recovery. In addition to helping with recovery, eating this fruit before or during a workout can be beneficial.

Do bananas help with pulled muscles? ›

Bananas are one of the best post-workouts snacks. They are rich in protein, fiber, and potassium – which replenishes your consumed energy after workouts or the daily grind at work. Bananas also contain glycogen which is known to help rebuilt damaged muscles.

What is the best vitamin for tissue repair? ›

Tissue repair and regeneration within the body are influenced by vitamin C. A critical role of vitamin C is the synthesis of connective tissue, particularly collagen [1].

What makes muscle strains worse? ›

Playing through your injury or returning to work after an accident without seeking medical attention ultimately worsens it. Your muscles don't heal correctly and the rest of your body has to compensate for the weakened area. This aspect can result in additional strain, overuse injuries or fractures.

Why does a muscle strain hurt so bad? ›

People often report the sensation of pain as the feeling of being "stabbed." When muscle is initially injured, significant inflammation and swelling occurs. After this inflammatory phase, the muscle begins to heal by regenerating muscle fibers from stem cells that live around the area of injury.

What is the longest a muscle strain can last? ›

How Long Will My Muscle Hurt? Typically, discomfort from a pulled muscle will last between three to six weeks. On the other hand, recovery for more severe muscle strains can take several months.

Do muscle strains ever fully heal? ›

You should expect to make a full recovery from a muscle strain. You should regain all your strength and ability to move your muscle after it heals. Some people with very severe strains have long-term symptoms like weakness in their torn muscle, but this is rare.

What is the difference between a pulled muscle and a strained muscle? ›

A strain is when a muscle is stretched too much and tears. It is also called a pulled muscle. A strain is a painful injury. It can be caused by an accident, overusing a muscle, or using a muscle in the wrong way.

What is the most severe muscle strain? ›

Grade III (severe) strains represent the complete rupture of the muscle. This means either the tendon is separated from the muscle belly or the muscle belly is actually torn in 2 parts. Severe swelling and pain and a complete loss of function are characteristic of this type of strain.

What are the stages of muscle strain? ›

There are three main phases to healing: the inflammatory, the proliferation and the remodelling. But before we get onto these let's take a look at the three grades of muscle tear.

How do I know if I pulled a muscle seriously? ›

Muscle soreness should not last longer than five days. Seek medical attention if the pain doesn't subside after a week, the injured area feels numb, or you are unable to walk or move your arms or legs. These symptoms could indicate a bigger issue, such as damage to your joints or muscles.

Do massages help muscle recovery? ›

Massage has been shown to improve blood flow, decrease inflammation and help muscles recover after intense exercise, but it also helps muscles grow.

Does massaging sore muscles help recovery? ›

Massage can assist the healing of damaged fibers by increasing blood circulation. Increased blood circulation provides an increase of oxygen and nutrients to an area. An increase of oxygen and nutrients can help repair fibers, decreasing inflammation and pain. Massage can help reduce muscle tightness caused by DOMS.

What is the best massage for muscle recovery? ›

The best types of massage to improve recovery post-workout include a combination of sports massage, remedial, deep tissue and relaxation massage. Including these massage types in your post-workout routine will help to relieve pain and muscle tension, as well as provide therapeutic benefits to the mind.

What is better for muscle recovery Tylenol or ibuprofen? ›

Muscle ache or pulled/strained muscle.

Ibuprofen typically works better for this kind of pain relief, due to the anti-inflammatory effects.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory medication? ›

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory medication? Research shows diclofenac is the strongest and most effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine available.10 Diclofenec is sold under the prescription brand names Cambia, Cataflam, Zipsor, and Zorvolex.

What is the best anti-inflammatory for pulled muscles? ›

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Naproxen and Ibuprofen are very effective for relieving muscle pain in various scenarios.

Is Icy Hot good for pulled muscles? ›

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.

Is it too late to ice an injury? ›

Use ice for inflammation within the first 24 hours. Ice is best as soon after the injury as possible, but never during the activity. Personal preference. After 24 hours, using heat or cold therapy can be determined according to your preference.

Is a heating pad or ice better for strained muscle? ›

Ice wins to shut down swelling, inflammation and pain early on where heat may actually make an injury worse.” If you're dealing with lingering injuries (older than 6 weeks) then it's okay to use heat. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints.

How tight should you wrap a pulled muscle? ›

The bandage should be snug, but it should not cut off circulation. Check your toes (if the bandage is wrapped around your foot or ankle) or fingers (if it's around your wrist). If they become purplish or blue, cool to the touch, or numb or tingly, the wrap is too tight and should be loosened.

What is a home remedy for muscle pain? ›

Home remedies for muscle aches

Rest: Rest the affected area and discontinue the activity that caused the injury. Ice: Use an ice pack or bag of frozen peas to help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Apply ice to the area for 15–20 minutes three times a day. Compression: Use a compression bandage to help reduce swelling.

Is a muscle tear more painful than a strain? ›

However, a tear is more serious than a strain because it can put you out of commission for longer. What are the Symptoms? A tear usually comes with intense pain, severe inflammation, swelling and even bleeding at the injury site. The more severe the tear, the longer it'll take to heal.

Do pulled muscles hurt to touch? ›

Symptoms of muscle strain

pain. tenderness when you touch the muscle. swelling. bruising – it can take up to 24 hours before you can see the full bruise.

What is the fastest way to heal a pulled muscle? ›

  1. Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. ...
  2. Ice. Even if you're seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. ...
  3. Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. ...
  4. Elevation.
Oct 11, 2022

Does putting pressure on a pulled muscle help? ›

Compress your muscle by applying a steady, gentle pressure on it. This prevents swelling and inflammation, which are thought to delay healing. Wrapping an elastic bandage around the affected muscle is best. Elevate the injury above your heart to reduce swelling.

What makes your muscles heal faster? ›

  1. Sleep more. Sleep gives your muscles time to recover from exercise. ...
  2. Massage. Many athletes incorporate massage in their training to reduce muscle soreness. ...
  3. Compression garments. Wearing compression garments has become common among athletes over the past several decades. ...
  4. Contrast water therapy. ...
  5. Cryotherapy.

Can an MRI show a torn muscle? ›

In some cases, doctors can make a diagnosis based on a physical exam and symptoms. However, if the injury is more severe, an MRI can reveal whether you have a torn ligament or muscle.

What delays tissue healing? ›

The factors discussed include oxygenation, infection, age and sex hormones, stress, diabetes, obesity, medications, alcoholism, smoking, and nutrition. A better understanding of the influence of these factors on repair may lead to therapeutics that improve wound healing and resolve impaired wounds.

What is the safest muscle relaxer? ›


Taken as 800 mg tablets 3 to 4 times a day, metaxalone (Skelaxin) has the fewest reported side effects. It's also the least likely of the muscle relaxants to make you sleepy.

What is a good muscle relaxer over the counter? ›

No muscle relaxers are available over the counter in the U.S., but some OTC medications can have muscle-relaxing effects. These include guaifenesin and NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen.

How long should you take ibuprofen for muscle strain? ›

Ibuprofen. You can only take 1 ibuprofen (400mg) 3 times a day, and no more than this amount in 24 hours. Take them regularly with or just after food for the next 3 to 4 days only and not just when you're sore.

Which fruit is best for muscle? ›

Bananas, dates, and raisins are excellent fruits for muscle development. These are the most calorie-dense choices, which will help you achieve the calorie excess required to grow. They are also rich in potassium and antioxidants that contribute to the reduction of swelling and muscle cramp during exercise.

What is the best fruit for muscle strain? ›

The collagen that vitamin-C produces also improves the body's ability to maintain bone, muscle, and tendons. The obvious place to start is with citrus fruits – such as oranges and grapefruits. Bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and kiwi also have plenty of vitamin C.

What not to do with a pulled muscle? ›

Muscle Strain Treatment Self-Care at Home

Never apply ice or heat to bare skin. Always use a protective covering such as a towel between the ice or heat and the skin. Pain relievers. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and improve your ability to move around.

What vitamin is good for pulled muscles? ›

Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, which helps maintain the integrity of your bones, muscles, skin, and tendons ( 9 , 19 ). Vitamin C is also important for wound healing ( 9 , 20 ). Therefore, getting enough vitamin C in your diet is a great way to help your body rebuild tissue after an injury.

What are the best vitamins for pulled muscles? ›

Without a doubt you'll want to make sure that you're getting a lot of B-complex vitamins when recovering from a muscle tear. This is because some key B-complex vitamins, including biotin, and Vitamin B-6 / B-9, help your body metabolize amino acids and protein.

What not to eat when injured? ›

Foods to AVOID When Recovering from Injury or During periods of High Volume and intensity with sport
  • Refined carbohydrates and starches, like white bread and pastries.
  • Fried food, like french fries.
  • Red meat and processed meat.
  • Soda.
  • Sugars.
  • Foods with a high glycemic index.
  • Shortening/margarine.
Mar 17, 2021

What is the best protein for tissue repair? ›

One of the keys to wound healing is collagen, a protein in your body that provides structure and support to your skin, muscles, bones and connective tissues.

What promotes tissue repair? ›

One of the most critical growth factors in tissue repair is transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). This growth factor belongs to a superfamily that also includes a number of other factors with wide-ranging functions, such as bone morphogenetic proteins, activins, inhibins and Müllerian inhibiting substance.

Is heat or ice better for a strained muscle? ›

After an acute injury, ice should be used to minimize swelling for the first two to three days. After this period, heat can be used to increase blood flow and assist the natural healing process. Applying heat too early may cause additional swelling by increasing blood flow to the injury.

What does a severe muscle strain feel like? ›

The key symptoms of a muscle strain are: sudden pain that worsens while contracting the muscle, swelling and bruising, loss of strength and range of motion. People often report the sensation of pain as the feeling of being "stabbed." When muscle is initially injured, significant inflammation and swelling occurs.

What does a Grade 1 muscle strain feel like? ›

A Grade 1 strain is a minor strain. You've overstretched a muscle or tendon and may have the beginning of a tear. You may feel stiff, but you can still use the arm, leg, or other part of your body that has sustained the injury.

Will a heating pad help a pulled muscle? ›

Use a heating pad or a warm towel to help relieve muscle aches and tension. Be sure not to cause yourself more pain and avoid burns by using a towel between the heating pad and your skin. As with ice, only apply heat for about 20 minutes at a time.

Does a heating pad help muscle strain? ›

Heat. Brings more blood to the area where it is applied. Reduces joint stiffness and muscle spasm, which makes it useful when muscles are tight.

Should I stretch a pulled muscle? ›

Should you stretch a strained or pulled muscle? Like we mentioned above, the best thing to do for your pulled muscle is to rest it. Physical Therapist Lewis says “You would want to avoid stretching the muscle for a few days to allow the acute injury to begin to heal.

Why is my muscle strain getting worse? ›

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. difficulty bending or straightening the affected area.

Which painkiller is best for muscle pain? ›

Ibuprofen (trade names are Advil, Motrin, Midol) "targets inflammation, so it is particularly helpful for muscle pain, joint pain and sports injuries.

What is the best pain reliever for muscle strain? ›

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Naproxen (Aleve).

Its anti-inflammatory properties are better for muscle soreness and body aches that typically stem from inflammation.


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