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Dealing with Sprains, Strains and Muscle Pulls

Photo: Nine different black and white photos of a male body with redness at joints and in the spine indicating painTreatment for Sprains, Strains and Muscle Pulls

When winter turns to spring, we typically find ourselves more physically active, getting out in the yard, getting on the tennis court, or taking the dog for a walk. Unfortunately, we can be a little out of shape from the sedentary lifestyle winter can impose on us. Strains, sprains and muscle pulls can be a common occurrence as people start lifting, running, pushing, pulling and toting again.

If your injury is causing you substantial pain,
you’ll want to go to urgent care or visit your primary care physician. But what’s the best thing you can do in the interim? If your sprain appears to be minor, how can you minimize your discomfort, accelerate healing, and prevent a more serious injury?

The R.I.C.E. Approach Challenged

For nearly 40 years, the most recommended treatment for these types of injuries has been associated with the acronym “RICE”—rest, ice, compression and elevation. However, the doctor who originally coined the term, Gabe Mirkin, recently wrote that he believes that the RICE approach may actually delay healing.

Mirkin cited studies that show that icing an injury can actually delay healing, as it reduces the flow of blood to the injured area—oxygen and blood to the area are actually the agents of healing. A June 2013 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine supported this finding, and another study actually showed that the use of ice after exercise actually caused muscle damage and fatigue.

Other studies have shown that early mobilization of an injured ligament or tendon accelerates the healing process.

Come to Hillcrest Medical

If you have suffered a sprain, strain or muscle pull in the Dallas area, the best place for urgent care is Hillcrest Medical. Many of our patients also choose to make our doctor their primary care physician. Come and check out our facility and meet our doctor and staff. We’re here to help you now, and we’re here for all your future urgent care needs.

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