MUSCLE STRAIN, EXTREMITY
A MUSCLE STRAIN is a stretching and tearing of muscle fibers. This causes pain, especially with motion of that muscle. There may also be some swelling and bruising.
1) Keep the injured area raised to reduce pain and swelling. This is especially important during the first 48 hours.
2) Make an ice pack (ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel) and apply for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours the first day. You should continue with ice packs 3-4 times a day for the second and third days. Unless otherwise instructed, on the fourth day you may begin hot soaks or hot packs (small towel soaked in hot water) 3-4 times a day while you gently exercise the involved area.
3) You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to control pain, unless another medicine was prescribed. [ NOTE : If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.]
4) For LEG STRAINS: If CRUTCHES have been recommended, do not bear full weight on the injured leg until you can do so without pain. You may return to sports when you are able to hop and run on the injured leg without pain.
FOLLOW UP with your doctor or this facility if you are not improving within the next five days.
GET PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION if any of the following occur:
-- Fingers or toes become swollen, cold, blue, numb or tingly
-- Pain or swelling increases