There are more than 600 muscles in your body to help you breathe, move, lift and grab things, and pump blood through your body. So it’s very common that these muscles can become sore after strenuous work or exercising. Although soreness can be expected, a muscle strain, pull or tear is more serious and may require several days of rest or even medical attention. This can be done by warming up before exercise. Start your workout with some light walking or jogging. Flexibility is also important in preventing injury and re-injury of an already strained muscle. You can increase flexibility with stretching. The recovery period following your workout is just as important as the workout itself. That’s because your body needs ample time to rest in order to repair muscles, replenish energy, and reduce post-workout soreness. Symptoms of Muscle Strain: - Weakness in your muscles or tendons - Pain in a specific muscle or tendon when its used - Swelling or bruising at the site of an injury - Inability to use the muscle at all - Muscle pain while resting Seek medical care if you cannot walk, if there is significant swelling, pain, fever, or open wound. Treatment of Muscle Strain: - Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling. Always read the label warnings or consult with your doctor before taking any new medications. - Use the R.I.C.E. Method: - Rest the strained muscle. Avoid activities that are causing the pain. - Ice the muscle. Use an cold compress on the affected area for 20 minutes on every hour while awake. - Compression gently applied to the muscle. Use an elastic bandage to provide support and decrease swelling. - Elevate the injured area to decrease swelling. - Stretching: Don’t keep the strained muscle still too long. Start with light stretching to slowly increase your activity so that the muscle doesn’t become stiff. Resources: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/muscle-strain http://www.hopkinsortho.org/muscle_strain.html http://www.healthline.com/health/strains#Overview1 http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Kids/healthy_muscles.asp

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