Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children rehabilitation warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Types Anatomy
Muscle Strains Rehabilitation
- Choose exercises that involve smooth motions, such as skating, biking, or swimming.
- Exercise should not cause pain.
- Increase the intensity and stress on the injured area gradually, as long as the movement does not cause pain.
- Perform movements on your own: do not allow another person to move the injured joint.
- Placing the injured area in an ice bath for 3 minutes before exercise may speed healing.
- Before you advance your level of physical activity, one must be able to:
- Bear weight on the lower extremities without pain.
- Move the injured joint completely in all directions.
Tips for safely increasing activity after minor leg strains:
- Be sure that you can move the joints around the muscle in all directions without pain.
- Gently increase stress on the muscle by shifting the weight from foot to foot.
- Bear weight on the heel, then on the toes.
- Walk with short steps.
- Walk with long steps.
- Walk in circles, figure-8, or weaving pattern.
- Jog in a straight line.
- Jog in a lazy S or large figure-8 pattern.
- Jog in a sharp Z or smaller figure-8 pattern.
- Consider using a light functional splint (e.g. Aircast), to help maintain joint alignment under the stress of physical activity and sports.
- Further exercises for athletes:
- Sprint: slow starts and stops (5-10 yards) with your ankle taped by a trainer.
- Sprint: quick starts and stops (5-10 yards) with your ankle taped by a trainer.
Continue to Muscle Strains Warning Signs
PubMed Muscle Strains References
- Bennett R. Addressing musculoskeletal pain. Geriatrics. 2004 Aug;59(8):11-2. 
- Croisier JL, Forthomme B, Namurois MH, Vanderthommen M, Crielaard JM. Hamstring muscle strain recurrence and strength performance disorders. Am J Sports Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;30(2):199-203. 
- Garnett WR. GI effects of OTC analgesics: implications for product selection. J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 1996 Sep;NS36(9):565-72. 
- Orchard JW. Intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for muscle strains in Australian football. Am J Sports Med. 2001 May-Jun;29(3):300-3.