- Use compression immediately whether it be a crepe bandage or tubigrip. It’s really important to minimise the bleeding and swelling. Keep it on for 48 hours.
- Use ice over the compression for 15 mins at a time, every 2 hours ideally. Rest and elevate the injured area. e.g. with a calf strain elevate it up on pillows, above your heart. Avoid alcohol, as it causes vasodilation and this causes swelling which is what to are trying to reduce.
- Get it diagnosed properly in consultation with your Sports Physiotherapist. This can be done by a clinical examination…a process of working out how much the muscle has been torn. You need to determine how much load the muscle can take. If it can’t take any it may be completely torn.
- Don’t do lots of stretching at the start. When a muscle isn’t right the natural instinct is to stretch it and see how sore it is, but stretching it too much just pulls the muscle fibres apart.
- Start a loading exercise program. By giving the muscle a good amount of stimulus it encourages repair at the cellular level. Strengthening correctly is the key. This needs to be increased progressively. Muscle tissue generally heals well due to it’s abundant blood supply.
There are some muscle tears you can have that are easily managed and putting a bit of effort into your rehab exercises can leave you with very good healing result. There are also some muscle tears you really need to be diagnosed correctly as they may require surgery.
Look after yourself well, and I’ll see you out running in Port Macquarie!