A pulled muscle is damage done to a muscle in your body as the result of some sort of physical activity. If you do not properly warm up prior to engaging in physical activity, or if you are not normally physically active and you decide to start engaging in physical activity, you could pull a muscle. The pain is sharp and burning, and it can make walking or sitting difficult.
The first thing you should do when you feel the pain of a pulled muscle is to immediately take pressure off the affected area. That means that when you feel a pulled muscle you sit down and rest. Apply ice immediately to the affected area to help control the swelling. Elevating the muscle could also control swelling. Additional pressure can be added by wrapping the area tightly in a sports bandage or by using medical gauze. Rest is recommended until the initial sharp pain is gone.
Apply heat to the affected area prior to doing any activity, and return to physical activity gradually. Stretch slowly to prepare for any sports activity, and if the pain begins to appear again, cease stretching immediately.
Not using a damage muscle for an extended period can weaken the muscle and slow recovery. When the initial pain has subsided, begin gradual exercises designed to strengthen the damaged area.
The most important part of the ongoing treatment of a pulled muscle is to get to a doctor and have her prescribe medication for the pain and advise you on how to regain strength in the damaged muscle. Improperly treating a pulled muscle could extend the amount of time the effects are felt.
Prevention of a pulled muscle involves making sure your muscles are properly prepared for physical activity, and knowing when it is time to take a break. Stretch slowly prior to physical activity, and pay special attention to areas that feel tighter than others. If you are prone to straining and pulling muscles, consult a physical therapist to determine which stretches would be most effective.
When you feel tired, it is a good idea to stop physical activity. Pushing your body beyond the point of being tired is a sure way to strain or pull a muscle.