Does Heat Help Pulled Muscles?

Is heat or ice better for a pulled muscle?

The amount of swelling or local bleeding into the muscle (from torn blood vessels) can best be managed early by applying ice packs and maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position.

Heat can be applied when the swelling has lessened.

However, the early application of heat can increase swelling and pain..

How can I speed up muscle recovery?

Your doctor may recommend the following at-home treatments:Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay. … Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. … Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. … Elevation. … Medication. … Heat.

When should you apply heat to an injury?

How to Know When an Injury Needs Ice or HeatUse ice to treat acute (new) injuries that are accompanied by inflammation and swelling, such as sprains, strains, bruises and tendinitis.Use heat for chronic (ongoing), non-inflammatory pain or stiffness, such as from arthritis, fibromyalgia, back or neck pain.

How do I know if I pulled a muscle or herniated disc?

Back strains or sprains tend to hurt less with bending forward, and more with returning from a forward bend. 2. Herniated discs are often associated with shooting pain and numbness that travels down one of the legs. Lower back sprains and strains tend to have “centralized” pain (only in the lower back).

How can you tell the difference between a muscle strain and muscle soreness?

Telling the difference can be difficult, if you don’t know what to look out for. With muscle soreness, you won’t feel it until a day to two later. With a pulled muscle however, the pain is usually immediate.

What does heat do to muscles?

Applying heat to an inflamed area will dilate the blood vessels, promote blood flow, and help sore and tightened muscles relax. Improved circulation can help eliminate the buildup of lactic acid waste occurs after some types of exercise.

Should you massage a pulled muscle?

Massage. Therapeutic massage helps loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow to help heal damaged tissues. Applying pressure to the injured muscle tissue also helps remove excess fluid and cellular waste products. A 2012 study found that massage immediately following an injury may even speed strained muscle healing.

Does heat speed up muscle recovery?

“After the acute phase of the injury, you can use heat to help with recovery and relax muscles,” Kurtz says. “A heat pack or submersion in a hot tub may help with muscle strains and promoting range of motion.”

Does heat make inflammation worse?

Heat can make inflammation significantly worse. Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness; it can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted. Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating.

Is it OK to workout if muscles are still sore?

In most cases, gentle recovery exercises like walking or swimming are safe if you’re sore after working out. They may even be beneficial and help you recover faster. But it’s important to rest if you’re experiencing symptoms of fatigue or are in pain.

What is the best treatment for muscle strain?

approach — rest, ice, compression, elevation:Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. … Ice. Even if you’re seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. … Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. … Elevation.

How long does it take for a pulled muscle to heal?

What’s the outlook for someone with muscle strain? Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. For a mild strain, you may be able to return to normal activities within three to six weeks with basic home care. For more severe strains, recovery can take several months.

Does heat make a pulled muscle worse?

When to Use Heat Heat will make the swelling and pain worse, which is not what you want. You also should not apply heat if your body is already hot — for example, if you’re sweating. It won’t be effective.

Should I stretch a pulled muscle?

Don’t stretch! While it may seem counterintuitive, stretching a strained muscle only makes it worse. Your best bet involves avoiding any movement that agitates the affected area and continue to rest until the pain subsides.

Does heat make infection worse?

Heat will make some conditions much worse. Never apply heat to an infection or fresh injury! Or any other acute inflammation, like a flare-up of arthritis. Just don’t do it!