Strained or Pulled muscles

However you pulled your muscle, knowing how to treat the pain and swelling may help you recover more quickly and make you more comfortable.

Book an appointment with Rachel Sharp Rehab in Sutton Coldfield today for professional help with your pain.

Strained & Pulled Muscles Sutton Coldfield

How do you strain a muscle?

A muscle strain usually occurs when muscles are stretched too far while under tension, or from an excessive contractile force from the muscle itself. e.g. lifting a weight heavier than we are used to lifting or sprinting while running.

Whatever the cause of the strain, it is painful and inconvenient.

Whether you strained your neck while parallel parking or pulled a groin muscle playing sport, knowing how to treat the pain and swelling may help you recover more quickly and make you more comfortable.

strained muscle treatment Sutton Coldfield

The Best Advice for Pulled Muscles

The advice used to be RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, however recent research is showing that applying cold therapy immediately following an injury can in fact delay the healing process. 

The rest, I would advise to be relative rest i.e., do not expect to return to your normal activities, but still try gentle active range of movement exercises. For example, following an ankle injury try writing your name/the alphabet with your foot in the air before gradually building up to more functional exercises. 

Some people find compression also helps, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest it is effective or ineffective in speeding up injury recovery. 

When the pain has eased and you are thinking about returning to your preinjury levels of activity, it is wise to gradually build up to this. For example, if you are a runner, gradually build up the distance and then the pace one variable at a time rather than overload the muscle in one go.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Did you suddenly feel a sharp pain while doing something active? 
  • Is it a recent injury? If the injury was more than 3-4 weeks ago and you’re still experiencing pain it may be more than just a muscle strain.
  • The injury will only affect one muscle / muscle group that is weak and painful to use.
  • There may be some swelling, redness, heat, bruising around the area of pain. 
  • At rest there may be pain around the injured area.
  • Does the muscle look deformed? If the tear is significant enough, there may be a depression at the site of the tear. 
  • You can put your finger on the site of pain and it is always in the same place. 

You will not want to massage the site of a strained muscle for the first few days following injury as this will be painful, but also can interrupt the normal inflammatory process which is an important part of healing. After a few days you should try gentle stretches. As a muscle heals following a strain, a scab is formed with the fibres healing in a mesh type pattern, so the gentle stretching will help improve the alignment of the fibres, do not push the stretch into pain.


Massage is a good treatment following a muscle strain, but only after you can apply some gentle pressure to the site of injury and not experience intense pain.


You may find the affected muscle or muscles that work in the same manner as the injured muscle feel tight and a massage can help relieve this. 

A muscle strain should heal by itself, however, there will be an area of weakness around the site of the injury and you may be prone to re-injury unless you rehab the injury properly. 


If your injury was not as a result of a trip and fall, it would be advisable looking into why the injury occurred in the first place. Biomechanical analysis of how you move, strength/flexibility testing could highlight any muscle imbalances which can be corrected to prevent re-injury.


Book an assessment, so that you can address the cause.

Aqua Rehab in Sutton Coldfield

Aqua rehab is a  great form of treatment for many sports injuries.

Avoid the NHS waiting lists and visit your local specialist injury rehab clinic in Sutton Coldfield today.