Home Remedies for Pulled Muscle

Warming up is one of the best things you can do before you jog your daily mile or join in a pick-up basketball game at the park. Skimp on the preparation your body needs before you participate in an activity, and you run the risk of injury. To ease the discomfort that follows, home remedies for a pulled muscle can help.

Causes and Symptoms

A pulled muscle is really a strained muscle that occurs when the fibers of a muscle have become torn. Vigorous activity or an underlying muscle imbalance where one muscle is inappropriately stronger than another is the most common causes of a pulled muscle. Pulled muscles are a common injury that athletes typically experience – especially when they’ve neglected to stretch before participating in strenuous activity. Exercising in cold weather can also cause a muscle to become strained.

Most pulled muscles occur in the hamstring, quadriceps, calf and inner thighs. Symptoms that develop include pain at the site of injury and swelling. More severe muscle pulls can limit your ability to move, as well as cause muscle spasms and bruising. Depending on the severity of your injury, pulled muscles can take one to eight weeks to heal.

Pulled Muscle Home Remedies

Pulled muscles need time to heal, and there is no magic trick to speed up the process. However, there are still plenty of home remedies for pulled muscles that can help reduce pain and improve function. To get you started, consider the following suggestions:

a) Ice:

When you first experience a pulled muscle, icing the area down can provide immediate relief from the swelling and pain.

b) Gauze Bandage:

Wrapping a pulled muscle with an elastic bandage helps reduce the amount of stress that is placed on the muscle.

c) Stretch:

When the time is right, stretching can help your recovery from a pulled muscle[1]. It is important to take it easy and do not push the muscle to the point that it causes pain.

d) Pillow:

When you lean against pillows, the reclining position can provide pain relief for a pulled muscle in the back.

e) Steamy Shower:

The moist heat that comes from a warm shower offers more relief than the dry heat of a heating pad. This home remedy is especially helpful for a pulled groin.

f) Breathe to Relax:

Deep breathing can help calm the body when you’ve suffered a pulled muscle. Lie down in a straightened position and take deep, slow breaths for 30 minutes.

g) Heating Pad:

It is beneficial for a person with a pulled muscle to apply heat to their injury. Heat helps improve circulation, which is essential for healing.

h) Warm Bath:

Relaxing in a warm bath can soothe a pulled muscle, as well as reduce pain levels. The bath will relax the pulled muscle, as well as decrease any spasm you may experience. The stiffness of ligaments and tendons also lessens.

i) Aspirin:

To reduce pain and fight inflammation, pop a couple of aspirin when things get tough.

j) Epsom Salt:

With the power to ease the aches and pains of pulled muscles, add Epsom salt to a warm bath for better results.

k) Take Baby Steps:

Do not use a pulled muscle while it is in pain – this means that it has not fully healed. You can start easing back into your regular routine when the pain is completely gone. If any discomfort arises when you think you are in the safe zone, stop using it. You’re going to have to get used to gradually making use of your muscle again.

l) Cocoa Butter:

The richness and pleasant aroma of cocoa butter makes it the ideal choice in administering a soothing massage for a pulled muscle.

m) Bag of Peas:

For a quick cold compress, reach for a bag of frozen peas. Don’t have any peas? Any bag of frozen vegetables will do.

n) R.I.C.E. Treatment:

One of the most well-known of treatments for pulled muscles is to use the R.I.C.E. approach – a combination of rest, ice, compression and elevation. After suffering your muscle pull, apply ice every 20 to 30 minutes, and then wrap the pull as a way to slow down the inflammatory process. Elevate the pulled muscle to keep blood and fluid from building in the region. The R.I.C.E. method should relieve your pain and swelling[2].

o) Massage:

Gentle massage of the muscle tissue surrounding your pull every 15 to 20 minutes for several hours can stop the accumulation of fluid and may reduce inflammation – especially for a fresh pull.

p) Olive Oil:

To enhance the experience of your massage, rub down affected areas with olive oil.

q) Foot Pull:

To relax the groin muscle, ask someone to pull the thumb of your foot upwards (which stretches the foot) and pull it towards them. You should choose the foot on the side of your pulled groin.

r) Swedish Massage Techniques [3]:

For a pulled hamstring muscle, you can stimulate blood flow by using Swedish massage techniques, such as the Effleurage. This approach focuses on light stroking that warms up the area in preparation for deeper techniques. First, the skin is lightly stroked in a firm upward motion – just above the back of the knee to the top of the hamstring muscles. You will be stroking upwards towards the heart, which is the same direction as the flow of blood.

Allow the hands to move lightly down the outside of the left – no pressure is applied. The whole movement is repeated using slow stroking techniques. Your goal is to cover as much of the leg as possible. Continue this technique for about five minutes. The upward strokes should gradually become deeper with light pressure applied.

s) Sesame Oil:

A helpful ingredient used in traditional India massage is sesame oil, which is said to provide nourishment for injuries and enhance poor circulation.


[1] http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/pulled-back-muscle-treatment

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RICE_%28medicine%29

[3] http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/back/hamstrings/hams/sports_massage2.php?injury=ham_string