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How to Treat a Muscle Strain

Sometimes a muscle strain appears out of nowhere. Other times you feel it when it happens. Regardless, it’s critical to identify the area of concern and implement an immediate treatment plan. 

Does the phrase RICE mean anything to you? If not, you may not be treating muscle strains in the appropriate manner. Here’s what it stands for:

Rest: Give your muscle time to rest, as pushing through the injury can cause additional pain and discomfort. 

Ice: Apply ice to the affected area as soon after the injury as possible. Also, continue to use ice therapy the days following the injury, applying for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.

Compression: Wrapping the injured area will help decrease swelling, which increases the rate at which you recover. The key thing to remember here is that you don’t want to wrap the affected area too tightly, as doing so can cause more harm than good.

Elevation: When possible, elevate the injured area above the level of your heart. It’s best to do this when applying ice or when at rest, such as when lying in bed.

If you follow the above advice and continue to suffer, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, as you don’t want a minor injury to turn into something more serious.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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