From couch potatoes to elite athletes, anyone can be susceptible to pulling a muscle. This is an injury that can leave you in pain for days at a time. While some muscle strains will ultimately require surgery, most can be healed naturally. Here are a few tips to help you feel better sooner.

Use Natural Supplements for the Pain

After pulling a muscle, most people desire immediately pain relief. However, think twice before you use any pain medications. Although aspirin and ibuprofen may temporarily mask your symptoms, research shows these medications can interfere with the healing process. This means your recovery time will actually be longer. If you’re experiencing discomfort and swelling, the best approach is to use natural ingredients. Pineapple contains a pain-relieving enzyme called bromelain. Because it’s difficult to get enough bromelain by simply eating pineapples, opt to take a supplement. Ginger is another great alternative to over-the-counter medications. About two grams of ginger daily has been proven to reduce muscle pain.

Get More Rest

It’s especially difficult for active people to simply take a break. When dealing with an injury, they often become anxious. However, a pulled muscle needs time to heal. Attempting to return to action too soon puts you at risk of getting injured again. While your body is naturally repairing the damaged tissue, you must remain patient. It’s also a good idea to get plenty of sleep. You’ll gradually begin to feel stronger and stronger. To ensure that you don’t become restless at night, keep the consumption of alcohol and caffeine to an absolute minimum.

Visit a Physical Therapist

Physical therapy can help you to bounce back from a pulled muscle. When dealing with an injury, nothing beats being able to be guided by an expert. Physical therapists know the exact exercises and stretches that will help you to best recover. You may gain back your mobility sooner than expected.

Ice and Heat

Ice is a powerful healing agent. During the first 72 hours after pulling a muscle, it’s important to ice down the injured area. You should do so roughly 10 minutes at a time every few hours. This cold therapy can help dramatically reduce pain. After the initial swelling has subsided, heat can then be applied. The extra warmth improves blood flow, thus sending more oxygen and nutrients to your sprained muscle.

Don’t let a pulled muscle keep you down. Natural recovery is always the best approach to take. Before you know it, you’ll be back to your old self.

About the author

Kara Masterson

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