Ouch! What to do when you sustain an injury.
Strained or ‘pulled’ muscles often happen when we over exert muscles, train without properly warming up, or try to go beyond a joint’s natural flexibility.
Sometimes we feel the pain straight away, however some injuries might not cause pain until later on.
What can you do?
Remember RICE (relative rest, ice, compression & elevation).
Relative rest: The first thing to do if you feel pain is to reduce the offending activity. It can be normal to feel a little sore after exercise for a day or two, but if it is more than this, pushing through the pain is rarely beneficial.
However, movement stimulates the healing process so stay as mobile as you comfortably can. This is relevant for back pain as gentle exercise, such as walking, can help.
Ice: Cooling the area using an ice pack can help reduce swelling & pain.
Compression: Gently applying a compression dressing may help to temporarily support the injured joint & reduce swelling.
Elevation: If the injury is in the lower limb (knee or ankle), elevating the area assists draining fluids that might accumulate around the area, causing swelling.
If the pain or swelling fails to improve within a week, considering treatment may be beneficial to; assess the injury, provide some manual therapy, taping, dry needling & rehabilitation exercises, to help you get better faster.