Most muscle strains can be treated by using rest, ice, compression and elevation and protecting the muscle from further injury. Some may require the use of medication to relieve pain and inflammation, according to WebMD. It is advisable to see your physician promptly or visit an emergency room, if such remedies provide no relief, if a loud popping sound occurs or if you are unable to walk.
Management of swelling and bleeding into the area requires the application of ice packs for 15 minutes per hour for 24 hours. This reduces swelling and inflammation. Apply heat to the area after 72 hours. Maintain the muscle by elevating it above the heart level even while sitting. This also reduces swelling.
Avoid any activity that enhances muscle pain, advises Healthline. Compression using an elastic bandage provides support and helps minimize swelling. Your physician may decide you need to refrain from all activity depending on the severity of the injury. He or she may order home rest and possibly physical rehabilitation.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can be beneficial. If pain persists unabated after one week, if you are unable to ambulate or if the area feels numb, see your doctor. If the muscle injury is severe, surgery may be necessary.