Pulling a muscle, to say the least, is not a pleasant experience. It’s painful, limits your mobility and takes quite a long time to make a full recovery.

If you’ve recently pulled a muscle, you’re probably wondering what you can do to speed up your recovery process and limit the amount of pain you experience.

Luckily, our AFC Urgent Care TN team has some tips and helpful information, so keep reading!

What Exactly Is a Pulled Muscle?

A pulled muscle, which is commonly referred to as a muscle strain, occurs when your muscle fibers are overstretched or torn. This usually happens as a result of fatigue, overuse or improper use of a specific muscle. Strains can happen to any muscle on the body, but they’re most common in the lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstrings.

If you aren’t sure if the pain you’re experiencing signifies a pulled muscle, we’ve listed some tell-tale signs of a muscle strain below.

Muscle Strain Signs

  • Sudden onset of pain
  • Soreness
  • Limited range of movement
  • Bruising or discoloration
  • Swelling
  • A “knotted-up” feeling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness

What Can I Do to Make a Muscle Strain Feel Better?

Muscle strains vary in severity, so more serious cases will require further medical care for you to fully recover. If you aren’t sure whether your muscle strain is severe, we’ve listed some signs of serious injury below.

Even if your muscle strain is a serious one, trying the R.I.C.E. approach for immediate self-care is always the right call. Rest, ice, compression and elevation of your injury will help with the pain and swelling, and will drastically lower the risk of your strain becoming worse over time.

Signs of a Severe Muscle Strain

  • The pain doesn’t subside after a week.
  • The injured area is numb.
  • There’s blood coming from your injury.
  • You can’t walk.
  • You can’t move your arms or legs.
  • You heard a “popping” sound when the injury occurred.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have major swelling of the injured area.

Don’t hesitate to visit one of our AFC Urgent Care TN centers today to get the proper treatment for your pulled muscle! We’re here for you now and always.