Muscle Strain Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on August 30, 2022
1 min read

  • There's significant swelling, pain, fever, bleeding, or open cuts.
  • The person heard a “popping” sound or can’t walk, and there is no other way that they can safely and quickly be transported to a medical facility.

  • Protect by applying an elastic bandage, sling, or splint.
  • Rest the muscle for at least a day.
  • Ice immediately, and continue to ice for 10 to 15 minutes every hour, for 2-3 days.
  • Compress by gently wrapping with an Ace or other elastic bandage. (Don't wrap tightly.)
  • Elevate injured area above the person's heart level, if possible, for at least 24 hours.
  • Elevate and ice the area every 3 to 4 hours after the first day.

Call a health care provider if:

  • After a day or two the person can't move or put weight on the affected area.
  • The injured area is cool, pale, or changes color.
  • There is tingling or numbness.
  • There is new or severe pain.
  • The person needs advice on how (and how soon) to resume normal exercise and activity.