Treating a torn or strained muscle
Muscle injuries occur when you overload or stress your muscle too much. For example, when running, muscle strains commonly occur during quick direction changes.
Here are a few good tips to follow immediately after an injury:
👉 Immediately stop exercising and rest for at least a few days;
👉 Compress the muscle to relieve pain;
👉 Apply ice sparingly to the affected area (cold is a powerful analgesic, meaning that it relieves pain and can be used in place of anti-inflammatories, which are not recommended for this type of injury);
👉 Once any severe pain has passed, you can start physical therapy (about a dozen sessions) with passive rehabilitation (massages) if your muscle is very tense.
"Contrary to popular opinion, stretching the muscle is not recommended," says Alexandre Batz. He explains: "The area is too sensitive for active movement so passive rehabilitation is the better option."
It takes longer to heal a muscle tear, two to three months at least. "The Peace and Love protocol (an acronym that sets out rules for sprains, muscle damage and other sports injuries), established by La Clinique du Coureur should also be considered when treating traumatic injuries," says Alexandre.