What are Some Home Remedies for a Pulled Muscle?

Applying an ice pack to a pulled muscle can relieve pain and swelling.
Taking a hot shower or bath is a common home remedy for a pulled muscle.
A warm bath may help ease a pulled muscle.
Arnica cream helps treat pulled muscles and bruises.
Epsom salts can help with a pulled muscle.
Article Details
  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

A pulled muscle is a painful injury that is caused when muscle fibers become torn. These injuries are usually caused by engaging in physical activity without properly warming up first. They can also occur when a person who is not in shape does something that is strenuous to the muscles.

Although any muscle can become injured, the hamstring is the most commonly injured muscle. The hamstring runs along the back of the thigh from the knee joint to the buttocks. Regardless of where the pulled muscle is located, it results in severe pain that becomes increasingly worse. It may also become bruised a couple days after the injury occurs.

While nothing can be done to make a pulled muscle heal faster, there are several ways to treat the condition at home in order to reduce the pain and improve function. The first step is to place an ice pack on the injured area immediately. This will help reduce swelling and, therefore, pain. Next, the affected area should be wrapped in an elastic bandage to help reduce the amount of stress placed on the muscle.

Ad

Rubbing arnica cream on the affected area is a homeopathic remedy for a pulled muscle. This cream is safe for people of all ages and absorbs quickly into the skin. It is known to relieve muscles that have been overexerted or injured. Stretching is another treatment, although it is important to be careful, as it can also worsen the injury if done too soon. When stretching the muscle, it should never be pushed to the point that it causes pain.

Applying heat to the muscle can also be beneficial. Moist heat, such as that from a warm bath or shower, is better than dry heat from a heating pad. A warm bath can soothe the area and reduce the pain. This is because the heat helps improve circulation, as well as your body’s metabolism. It also relaxes the muscle, which decreases muscle spasms and stiffness in the ligaments and tendons.

Adding Epsom salts to the warm bath can also benefit a pulled muscle. Epsom salts have long been known for their ability to ease muscular aches and pains.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon942063
Post 62

I pulled a muscle in the upper arm, while being overambitious with a heavy weight. I found that an elastic sleeve helped a lot, and Voltaren eases the pain as well. Another good product is Goanna and Emu oil, I heard. Is it still on the market.

anon277801
Post 60

@malena: I just tried that vinegar and olive oil. I believe the olive oil has anti-inflammatory elements, but the vinegar is new for me. I normally use black cumin seed oil for anti-inflammation. It's very powerful.

anon275240
Post 59

I was doing stretching by crossing one leg over the other and I apparently over stretched and pulled muscles in my buttock and outer hip area. It was a deep, dull ache that really bothered me when I stood or walked. It even bothers the left side of my scrotum and inner thigh. I began to use moist heat three days after and it is slowly working.

I may have been prone to the injury as I took a fall down some stairs at work about two weeks earlier. Any other suggestions would be helpful.

anon261300
Post 58

During a class session I was sprinting then had to sit down right away. I did this four times. Now, my thigh muscles are in great pain and I am not able to walk properly or go up and down steps as it hurts my muscles a lot! What should I do?

anon214143
Post 57

I'm a cheerleader, and I recently pulled a muscle in my thigh. I have to squat a lot and lift up girls. This is called stunting. I need to lift girls up, soon again. What can I do to let the muscle in my thigh heal fast?

anon197713
Post 56

i have had pain in my shoulder only when i throw things and i can't figure out what the problem is. help please.

anon181149
Post 55

In order to heal the fastest, you have to not use the muscle at all. Grade II tears can heal in around a week that way.

But that can be nearly impossible when you pull a muscle that you just can't avoid using. Any time you use the muscle and feel pain, that's probably another day or more added to the healing process. So in some cases, it could take up to a year.

At any rate, if this will be messing up your next big event, try to relativize it by reading news about some of the significantly worse things that are happening to people around the world. Then it becomes easier to accept that you will just have to wait for next time, and to find other things to do with your skills.

It is better to let your muscle heal properly than to push yourself for that event and most likely fail anyway, and risk having to live with lingering pain for the rest of your life.

anon168913
Post 54

a couple of weeks ago I lifted something while working in my garage and felt a sharp pain on the left lower side of my back. I have used a heating pad, motrin, flexeril prescribed by my doctor and a tens machine that I have had for years. it seems to be getting worse not better. is there sometime of time frame here that I'm missing? What else can I do beside see my doctor?

anon168536
Post 53

I did the splits (I have both legs down all the way) on the left, and I didn't stretch (I know, seriously dumb) and I heard something pop or something in the back part of my upper thigh and it hurt.

It's been two weeks and it still hurts, and I can't do my left leg splits anymore, or a heel stretch on the left which I could do before. What should I do? Do i have to re-teach myself the left splits, etc.?

anon158449
Post 52

i pushed very hard at the loo and hurt my left side. it pulls all the time. I have had it for years. It drags when trying to sleep on left side. i have told my doctor many times.

anon157581
Post 51

i was doing some boxing and the muscles in both of the top of my arms are really hurting. is it good to pull muscles because i pull muscles quite often. please help.

anon155586
Post 50

I am a cheerleader and I pulled my right hamstring about a month ago stretching my splits cold. I don't feel the pain unless i do kicks, jumps or am stretching. Help please, I have a comp this weekend and i want my flexibility back!

anon154739
Post 49

one of the mistakes many people make is stretching, which can actually damage the muscle and leaves you just as likely to injure yourself as it is to not stretch. Stretching should only be done at the end of a work out or used to improve flexibility. Instead, use a warm up because this prepares and primes the muscle for use. Think of your body as an engine and you need to let it warm up in order for it to perform at its best. There are many different methods but the key here is to warm up the muscles instead of stretching them since this only lengthens the muscle and doesn't allow the muscle to procure the blood, oxygen, and the naturally produced chemicals that your body sends in response to use.

anon150934
Post 48

i have pulled a muscle in my right thigh four days ago. i have an important game on saturday. is there anything that would heal the muscle very quickly? Thanks.

anon150720
Post 47

Okay so I think i pulled a muscle somewhere near my upper right abdomen area. I was shoveling snow and my back started to hurt then my stomach and near my abdomen area. I noticed it started to swell a little tiny bit too. It's not pain. It's just discomfort.

anon150540
Post 46

i've pulled my muscle last night at the dance show when i did a split because i didn't stretch before. I've got another dance show tonight in about three hours time and i've got to be there otherwise i'm not going to get my gcse grades.

it's really painful and i can hardly walk. i took pain killers, put a cream on and have a hot pack now but it doesn't help. i don't know how i'm going to be able to dance tonight. Help!

anon149872
Post 45

I'm a boy and i pulled my groin muscle from doing power moves without stretching because i only had 15 minutes to practise! I'm going to a jam on feb 12 and i want to know if i will heal in time.

anon146611
Post 44

I pulled a muscle today. I asked my doctor and he said that the best thing to do is rest it or put an ace band around it and try not to run if it was in your leg. In your arm, when you go to sleep elevate it and put heat on it. Place an ice pack on the injured area immediately before you do anything. Hope this helps at least some.

anon140209
Post 43

I pulled my oblique last night and I have a

fight tomorrow. is there a quick fix? sorry, but I think it's a little worse than a dancer who has three weeks to heal.

bctr24
Post 42

I have a dance show in less than three weeks and i pulled my hamstring about a week ago! Help!

anon123872
Post 41

i am a competitive volleyball player and i fell off a golf cart yesterday and hurt my upper arm. i think i bruised/strained a muscle but i am not sure. it is hard to get my books from the top shelf, and i have limited movement. it hurts really bad! what should i do?

Mikyle
Post 40

I am a Latin dancer and about three days ago i was practicing a split with my friend but then i felt this pain from behind me leg. i think it's my hamstring but the thing is that the pain isn't bad. it only hurts when i move very fast. i need to move fast because i am a salsa dancer and i have a show in like three weeks. sigh.

anon121454
Post 39

this is not fair. i have a belt test coming up and i can't kick or stretch. it hurts. ugh. it's taking too long to heal.

anon118724
Post 38

i am a competitive gymnast and i think i pulled my right hamstring. it hurts really bad whenever i try to do anything in practice! please tell me if i can do anything at home to help it? i don't want to go to a doctor for this because i know they will just tell me to take a break from gymnastics and i can't do that, so i need some very effective home remedies!

anon113987
Post 37

anon22986- I have the same thing. I had some scans done and nothing showed up. My doctor said it sounds like I pulled some muscles in my abs. It takes three to six months to a year to heal. yeah, I know it stinks. It's hard to walk and even worse to run. It feels like a stitch going from one side to the other.

I've been doing lots of stretches and icing it. Also using pain killers like advil work. Try not to do anything to exercises to aggravate it or make it worse. (takes longer to heal). yes this is all obvious stuff but I hope it helps!

anon106648
Post 36

I have pulled the butt muscles on both sides and also the piriformis on the right side. I have been having Chiropractic treatments but I am still in a lot of pain. I have also been using ice packs. Please tell me what I can do to get relief. Thank you.

anon106264
Post 35

I was working out with my best friend. We need to get in better shape than we're already in for our soccer tryouts. And while we were playing a mini game, I pulled a muscle around my knee and I can feel it also around my ankle and stomach area. Which stinks because I really want to make the team. I need some fast help.

anon103070
Post 34

I tore a muscle in my right side 14 months ago. It has still not healed, and I still can't use my abdominal muscles. Doctors have not been able to help me.

anon99016
Post 33

Most strains heal in about six weeks but that requires rest! Ice is good in most cases, it reduces the swelling and inflammation. Be careful with sharp pains in the abdominal area, these could be things you need to see a doctor for such as appendicitis or other stuff.

mel30
Post 32

I pulled the muscle in my leg just above the knee and I tried everything except for wrapping it. is there anything else that I can try because it really hurts when when I walk on it.

anon92871
Post 31

i pulled my muscle in my upper thigh dancing but i tried icy hot and it didn't work and i took a really hot bath. i turned red but my pulled muscle kind felt better afterward. i even tried stretching. i have a try out soon!

anon89653
Post 30

I have no idea what muscle I pulled! It is a muscle in my lower belly. It feels like a needle is pushing out of my skin and it hurts bad! Is there anything that would help it to where I can work out at my normal schedule, which is every day except for the weekends and wednesday?

anon87186
Post 29

I went to the gym and did a shoulder/pectoral workout without stretching, now i have two pulled muscles, one in each anterior deltoid, it's unbearable I can't do anything!

anon80593
Post 28

i pulled a muscle in my upper leg. It is at the very top of the front of my leg. i don't know what to call that muscle.

I was sprinting in lacrosse, racing to see who was the fastest runner, and the other guy was ahead so i sped up to catch up, but he sped up too so i pushed myself as hard as i could, even though the last time i had sprinted was months ago.

The funny part was, i already had shin splints that were really painful that i was ignoring, and got cramps all along my lower abdomen after drinking half my water. Is there a way to fix all this without stopping practicing?

anon70692
Post 27

I pulled a lower back muscle years ago right before a major marching band show. With back muscles, if it hurts to walk, then the best thing to do is lay down with your knees up.

And get some medicine. If you can, get a prescription, but even aspirin or motrin is better than nothing. Whatever you do, do not push it by being too athletically active, or it will only get worse.

Even now, after years, it can get achy if I'm not careful, but the best stretches are 1)place your hands on the lower back and lean backward (not so far that it hurts, just so that you feel that good ache that should come with stretching), and 2) lean forward and stand like that for a few minutes, stretching the specific part that aches by through deep breaths and rolling your shoulders, without forcing it.

anon67741
Post 26

I think I have pulled a muscle or maybe more than one muscle in my upper back near my shoulders. I pulled it at some point yesterday during my half an hour stretching every evening. The thing is I swear I warmed up properly. It hurts to move my shoulders, bend down and lift things. Are there any gentle stretches I can do to help?

anon60754
Post 24

i pulled a muscle on my upper back/side today in practice. and i have a basketball tournament tomorrow that my team needs me for. and i'm pretty tough but this hurts to breathe. anything i can do to make it playable?

anon59775
Post 23

"[Arnica] is known to relieve muscles that have been overexerted or injured."

Really? What is the medical evidence that Arnica works better than rubbing in any kind of skin cream. It's just homeopathic quackery.

anon59010
Post 22

I pulled a butt muscle. what can I do to relieve pain there?

anon57895
Post 21

i'm 71 and pulled a muscle in my upper arm. what's the best remedy?

anon54836
Post 20

I pulled my hamstring muscle while sprinting in a race. This happened about a week and a half ago. I have nationals in eight days and really want and need to compete.

I've gone through all the processes: rest, ice, compression, elevation but does anyone know any herbal remedies that could help?

anon42361
Post 19

i pulled my hamstring dancing. it's not unbearable but it hurts every so often. i have a showcase tomorrow and i'm gonna take part because i have worked so hard for it, but how do i make it more usable without it being sore? tablet for muscle aches and pains? ice or heat or both?

anon42203
Post 18

i pulled an arm muscle during football practice. i really need to heal but i can't stop practicing. what should i do?

anon39297
Post 16

hey, i am a competitive cheerleader and i pulled my hamstring about two weeks ago. my coach was stretching me and when i got up my hamsting began to hurt and now it has been over two weeks and it hurts really bad. i have tried motrin, bengay, icy hot! Help! i have cheer tryouts in three days!

anon38619
Post 15

I have a pulled muscle that just started hurting two weeks ago. What happened is that a month ago I fell off a treadmill and had a nasty sore on my arm that tooks weeks to heal, and now this pulled muscle si in the same area. What can be done about? It is very uncomfortable and limits what I can do with my arm and hurts very bad when I try to excerise it. Cold and hot pads have not worked.

anon34792
Post 14

What's an American Sports Week? I'm American and curious...

anon34746
Post 13

I woke up with pain in the centre right side of my back and my mum said I pulled a muscle. Tomorrow at school I have an American sports week and I don't know if I can go in.

anon34313
Post 12

My wife and I were playing soft ball last night and she pulled/strained both of her quads as she ran past first base. Looking back on it she had been working in the Texas heat all day and had not consumed enough water/liquids. I think this caused most of the problem as she was dehydrated... Drink non-caffeinated drinks and stay hydrated before playing sports.

anon32045
Post 11

I pulled my hamstring while playing kickball at Physical Education when the coach didn't make us do exercises, and all that you write points to what happened to me.

anon29308
Post 10

*Youch*, I pulled a muscle in my hamstring playing competitive soccer. I have my practice Tuesday, Weds, Thurs, and Fri then a game on Saturday.

anon28729
Post 9

I pulled a muscle in my lower back yesterday playing softball. I swung the bat as hard as i could and it pulled but it hurt so bad i went down crying. I don't cry unless it hurts. I just want the pain to go away before Monday because we have our first game.

Also i have a slight pulling in my arm but i don't know what it is. Any suggestions?

e4nike
Post 8

i think it might be a pulled muscle but i don't exactly know. It started bothering me 3 days ago and the pain has got worst. I was salting my drive way and when I went inside it started hurting. it hurts to raise my arm and the pain is spreading to my elbow.

anon22986
Post 7

I have just been getting a very sharp like stitch pain on the lower left side of abs and not sure if

it is a pulled muscle or not, but do feel the pain

worst when walking.

And have had the carmera down cause the pain felt like a ulcer for a start under the left ribs,

and got told it is not a hernia which I thought it

could have been cause I do a lot of weightlifting.

What do you think it could be ?

anon21761
Post 6

Icing isn't a good idea, usually warm compresses are good for relaxing the muscle and you have to stop using it as much as u did b4 so it can heal. Take some motrin, rest for a couple days, start stretching it and make sure to train it to become stronger so it doesn't happen again.

chris21393
Post 5

i play football and i pulled a muscle. it feels like a bruise when I press it. i've had it for a week and a half, been icing it, stretching it. how can i get this pain to go away? its messing up my performance in the field.

jenni
Post 3

I pulled a muscle in my calf just over a week ago. I am using arnica pills as part of the treatment and have just begun putting weight on my foot today as well as gentle stretches. The doc advised me that recovery time would be around 3 weeks. As I am not one for sitting still I am hoping the arnica will speed up the process!!!!

anon11185
Post 2

How long is the healing time for a pulled muscle?

malena
Post 1

OK, this is going to sound incredibly weird, but an aunt of mine (yes, she's from the "old country"...in a place where olives are abundant) swears by the healing properties of olive oil and vinegar. She recommends it for many things including...pulled muscles! In fact, my brother pulled a muscle while visiting her once, and she gave him her special concoction. He says it helped! Perhaps it was the placebo effect but in any case it can't hurt to try!

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email