Muscle strains and tears are very common, so I wanted to pass on this information from about treatment and recovery for muscle injuries.  Remember, this information is for informative purposes only and is not medical advice.  You should always consult your doctor before beginning any course of treatment for injuries.

How do I treat a muscle strain?shutterstock_315395813

Immediate treatment for a strained muscle is to stop the activity that caused it. Ice packs should be applied to the area . It is recommend that you initially ice your injured muscle for about 20 minutes two to three times a day. As your muscle heals, you can ice it less. For pain and swelling, we recommend aspirin, Tylenol, or anti-inflammatory medicines (Naprosyn, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, Celebrex, Viox, etc.). You should use these medications with caution if you have a history of stomach or kidney problems.

It is a good idea to rest after the initial injury. However, do not rest for too long. You should begin to move the joints and the muscle as soon as possible to prevent stiffness, atrophy, and weakness. Once you can stretch and move without any pain, you can begin some light stretching and muscle movement. When you feel ready, you can gradually resume activities in moderation but you should start slowly. Sometimes, it is useful to seek help from a physical therapist, athletic trainer, or personal trainer when recovering from a muscle strain, especially more severe strains. You will know when you can return to full activity when you can move fully, when your strength is equal to the same muscle on your other side, and when you can be active with little to no pain. It is a good idea to warm up the muscle before you stretch and before you exercise, both during and after you have recovered from the injury.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery depends on many factors, such as the muscle involved and the severity of the injury. Milder strains will recover quicker than severe ones. Typically, it takes about two weeks to return to normal activity after a mild strain and can take up to two months or longer to recover after a severe strain.

If you are dealing with a work injury or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia,” or call our office today (804) 755-7755.


Michele Lewane, Esq.

Injured Workers Law Firm – Serving Clients Across Virginia