One of the worst and most annoying injuries is having a pulled muscle! I’m not talking about the ones that are just a little uncomfortable for a little while and then go away at the end of the night. No, no, no, I’m talking about the ones that pretty much sit you down. They can be such a pain…no pun intended. Like many dancers, I’ve had my fair share of pulled muscles and thankfully I’ve obtained a few remedies that have helped me heal up and get back in the game. So, if you just so happen to be dealing with a pulled muscle or if you just want some tips on what to do if you ever have to deal with one, here are 3 tips on how to get through it!
“Take Some Time Off If You Can”
As much as you never want to, the wise thing to do is to take at least one to two weeks to rest your muscles. This means no workouts, stretching and if you can take a class off, that would help too. By taking some down time, you’ll really allow your muscles to get over the initial shock of the pull and begin the healing process. However, if you cannot take a week off, try going to class and talking to your teacher. Explain to them that you are dealing with a minor injury and may have to take it a little easy. This way you’re in class and up to date with what’s being taught while you’re nursing your injury.
After you’ve had some time off, it’s then time to slowly get yourself back into the routine. Subtle stretching routines will begin to unravel the tightness in the pulled muscle, which will make the muscle loosen and begin to speed up the heeling process which will slowly bring the muscle back to its state of normality. With that being said, start with a very low impact stretch routine to start out with and work your way up to more difficult stretches as the muscle begins to feel better.
“Bring Out The First Aid Kit!”
I’m an advocate of Icy Hot, Tylenol and heating pads to nurse a pulled muscle. Icy Hot is great to rub on your injured muscle before you begin stretching it out again and about 20 min. before you go to class to get the muscle nice and warm from the heating sensation that the cream gives. Also, wrapping your muscle in an Ace Bandage after applying the Icy Hot really seals in the cream and allows you to feel the full effects of it. I used this method when I pulled my left hip flexor (Yeeeaah, that wasn’t a very fun time for me) and it worked like a charm! Tylenol is a safe pain reliever to take before stretching or going to class, to help the irritation in the muscle subside. Another great trick is to apply a heating pad to the muscle in your down time after each class.
Pulled muscles happen inevitably as an athlete but with a little rest and a few dependable remedies, you’ll be able to get over them in no time! If you’re dealing with a pulled muscle at the moment, I hope you feel better soon and I hope these tips are able to help you get through this a little bit faster! See you all next week!