Q:

What is an effective remedy for a pulled calf muscle?

A:

Quick Answer

Ice packs and keeping the torn muscle in an extended stretch position can help reduce swelling and manage local bleeding into the muscle, according to WebMD. Heat can be applied after swelling has reduced, using a protective towel between the heat or ice pack and the skin.

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Full Answer

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen can improve mobility and reduce pain, states WebMD. Individuals who have a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney disease or are taking other medications such as blood thinners should consult a doctor before taking NSAIDs; however, acetaminophen is generally a safe pain reliever for those on Coumadin.

Using a method of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation, known as the PRICE formula, helps protect the muscle from further injury, notes WebMD. Removing any restrictive clothing in the muscle area helps protect it. Avoiding painful or physically stressful activities allows the muscle to rest. Icing the muscle every hour for approximately 20 minutes decreases inflammation. Compression can be applied gently with a bandage to decrease swelling, and elevating the injured muscle by propping it up also helps decrease swelling.

Severe muscle injuries that aren't relieved within the first 24 hours using home remedies should be treated by a doctor, states WebMD. Additionally, if there is a popping sound with the injury, fever, open cuts, significant swelling or a walking impairment, it's best to seek emergency medical treatment.

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