There’s a good chance that you have pulled your hamstring, pulled quadricep or injured a muscle somehow, and there’s a good chance you will again. The pain is intense, sudden and can drop you like a sack of potatoes OR it really starts hurting a few hours after the injury. It may be from the stress of physical movement or from something (or someone) hitting or impacting the muscle.
How long should you sit out, and how long will it take to heal?
There are a few general rules-of-thumb to follow when someone pulls a muscle. Get it checked out by a professional when it happens, and again 2 or 3 days later to assess severity and progress. If you suspect the muscle is completely severed, you should immediately go to the emergency room.
RICE: Rest Ice Compress Elevate!
While there’s some debate to the efficacy of ice in speeding up healing, this method will reduce bleeding in the area of the affected area, and resting or immobilizing will allow for granulation tissue to begin the healing process. The injured muscle should be immobilized for 4 to 6 days so that scar tissue can strengthen the muscle enough that you can begin rehabilitating the muscle slowly. Follow the guidelines laid out in your rehabilitation program to minimize the chance of reinjury.
Don’t push it!
Chiropractic, along with rehab exercises, is a very good option especially during the healing phase of the injury. Soft tissue healing can take 8 weeks to 9 months, and even when it doesn’t hurt anymore you might still be susceptible to reinjuring that muscle. Start slowly, and gradually work your way back. It is strongly advised you get professional guidance during the rehab process.
Please note that there are many variables in muscle healing, and guidelines differ for other types of injury. If you’re ever in doubt about what to do, give me a call.