7 Muscle Injury Recovery Tips

by AZ Pain Doctors, on May 15, 2021 11:31:45 AM

Muscle injuries are common and range from minor overstretching to more serious injuries like partial or complete tears. There are a number of symptoms that can indicate a muscle injury, and the common factor in these symptoms is isolated pain.

If you're dealing with serious or chronic muscle pain, working with pain management professionals is the best way to treat your injury.

In the meantime, there are a few ways that you can improve your injury recovery process and avoid causing further damage to the affected muscle.

Read on for seven tips for muscle injury recovery that will speed up or improve your recovery.

1. Stay Hydrated

We all know that we're supposed to stay hydrated in order to keep our bodies happy and healthy. Did you know that staying hydrated is particularly important when you're recovering from an injury?

Dehydration can slow down your muscle's natural ability to heal itself. On average, it is recommended that men drink about 12 cups of water a day while women drink about 8 cups of water a day. It is also recommended that if you are exercising for weight loss, you add an additional 16 to 24 ounces of water to your daily consumption for each pound that you lose.

2. Reduce Inflammation With Cherry Juice

When you are recovering from a muscle injury, a lot of the pain and potential swelling you may experience is the result of inflammation. Reducing inflammation is a great way to manage the symptoms of your injury and speed up the recovery process.

There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments you can use to reduce inflammation. If you're looking for a more holistic approach, try drinking tart cherry juice. The studies are still underway, but the results so far seem to indicate that a glass or two of tart cherry juice a day can reduce inflammation, damage, and soreness in the muscles.

3. Increase or Improve Sleep

Your body has many means by which it can heal itself, but you have to give it the right environment to do so. Resting is one of the most important components of injury recovery (and the "R" in the "RICE" treatment method). 

Most adults find that seven to nine hours of sleep a night makes them feel well-rested. If you are a highly active adult, you may need more sleep than others. Some professional athletes are catching around ten hours of Z's!

4. Compress the Affected Muscle

If possible, make sure to compress the affected muscle throughout the day. You can do so using compression garments designed for that specific body part or by wrapping the area with an ACE bandage. Remember, you don't want to cut off circulation, so don't wrap the muscle too tightly.

It seems that compression is most effective when used during exercise as a preventative measure. That being said, compression can help to keep swelling and inflammation low, both of which can slow down the recovery process.

In addition to compressing the affected muscle, it can also be helpful to elevate the muscle whenever possible. When you elevate an injured muscle above your heart, you can reduce the swelling.

5. Switch to Low-Impact Exercise During Injury Recovery

One of the most important things to remember when you are recovering from an injury is that you do not want to make the injury worse. When it comes to muscle injuries, they tend to result from overstretching the muscle. This can occur to active or athletic individuals of all kinds, from runners to yogis to weight lifters.

During your injury recovery process, switch to a form of exercise that won't have a high impact on your injured muscle. For example, if you usually run but currently have a muscle injury in your calf or ankle, switching to swimming can help prevent the injury from worsening. 

6. Up Your Protein Intake

Plenty of athletes are familiar with the idea of increasing their protein intake when trying to build muscle. Did you know you should also up your protein intake when you're recovering from a muscle injury? At the very least, you should not lower your protein intake during recovery, even if you aren't exercising as much.

Research has found that protein inefficiencies during recovery can slow down your muscle's natural healing process and lead to an increase in inflammation. If you need an easy way to increase protein without changing your diet, consider using whey or collagen powder supplements.

7. Limit Alcohol and/or Tobacco Consumption

Generally speaking, alcohol consumption and tobacco use aren't great for your health. When you're recovering from a muscle injury, it is particularly important to limit your consumption of either.

Alcohol has been found to impair your body's ability to replenish glycogen in your muscles while also lowering protein synthesis. While there is no information about the relationship between tobacco use and injury recovery, it is known that tobacco can damage the musculoskeletal system. This can increase your risk of muscle injuries, and when you are in recovery, you don't want to put yourself at any further risk.

Come to Us for Injury Recovery Help

Muscle injuries are common not only for athletes but for just about everybody. From minor strains to major tears, it is important that you take your muscle injury recovery process seriously. With these seven tips, you can make sure that the recovery process goes smoothly and that you don't worsen your injury.

Do you need professional help from a pain management doctor in Arizona? AZ Pain Doctors are here to help. Contact us today to find out more about our services and schedule your appointment.

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Topics:injury recovery