Everybody has experienced muscle strain at least once in a lifetime. Maybe you injured your back, or sprained an ankle. But what really causes a muscle strain? Well, it occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn, as a result of overusing it, incorrect posture, or fatigue—which is why professional athletes and fitness junkies may experience it often.
It’s not limited to them, though. Anyone from any age is exposed to the possibility of getting their muscle sprained. For instance, an office worker who sits in front of a computer all day long can also experience back pain, neck pain, or any ergonomic injury. Depending on its severity, it can be quite an annoyance, hindering us from doing our daily activities. No wonder why some people decide to ignore it and push through the pain.
However, that’s not the healthiest thing to do. There are consequences to deal with when you choose to leave a strained muscle untreated. For example, a small muscle tear will become larger if you ignore it, resulting in an even worse pain. Furthermore, it may lead to instability and disability of the affected body parts. Let’s say your Achilles tendon is injured, and you decide to neglect it. Over time, its tear will get bigger and it might turn into a full rupture, which means that the tendon has pulled apart completely and your heel is no longer connected to the calf muscle. Ouch.
So, what should you do when you tear a muscle? To a certain extent, it’s possible to treat it yourself. The first thing you need to do is… rest! Refrain from making too much movement. Then, you can either grab an ice pack, or put some ice inside a towel and compress it on the strained muscle for about 20 minutes. Repeat this step four to eight times a day. After 2 days, however, begin doing light stretching and activities with your injured muscle, because too much rest may cause stiffness or weakness.