Five Habits to Recover from a Muscle Injury

October 22, 2019
Muscle injuries range from simple muscle contractions to muscle strain. Read on to discover habits to recover from a muscle injury!

The time required to recover from a muscle injury depends on several factors. These include the type and size of the injury, the person’s health, their physical condition, and the diet they follow, among other things. However, you can help speed up this process by following the tips we’ll describe below.

If you’re an athletic person who exercises several times a week, you run the risk of injury. However, that’s no reason to stop playing sports or following a healthy diet.

What’s a muscle injury?

Overall, muscle injuries range from simple muscle contractions to muscle strain. The causes of muscle injuries are varied:

  • Lack of muscular balance. All muscle groups comprise muscles of contrary functions as agonists and antagonists (for example, biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, etc). However, when there’s an imbalance between the two, the risk of injury increases.
  • Low elasticity. The stiffer you are, the higher your risk of injury.
  • Hygienic-dietary alteration. Dehydration before, during, and after doing a sports activity. Dehydrated muscles are more vulnerable to injury.
  • Histochemical disorders. These include alterations of trace elements (calcium, potassium, etc.) necessary for muscle metabolism. Therefore, it’s important to respect recovery periods and consume the proper nutrients.
  • Bad support, type of shoes, incorrect movements. These can all cause muscle overexertion.
  • Insufficient rest, not sleeping enough, insufficient warm-up time. This all affects recovery and muscle tension.
  • Weather and climate. Cold and humidity can impact your muscles.
  • The conditions of each athlete. Race, sex, and genetic conditions can all play a role, among other aspects.

Habits to recover from a muscle injury

1. Use ice.

A person putting an ice pack on their ankle.

Ice reduces blood flow. Thus, it reduces the inflammatory process and relieves pain.

When you suffer an injury, you obviously shouldn’t overexert the injured area. Then, apply ice for a few minutes to reduce inflammation and repeat the process three times a day.

Ice is beneficial for injuries due to its vasoconstrictor effect. Thus, it reduces blood flow in the area and works both as a painkiller and an anti-inflammatory. Elevating the injured limb also helps speed up the recovery.

This article may interest you: 5 Exercises that Won’t Affect your Joints

2. Rest to heal from a muscle injury.

Once you’ve received medical attention and applied ice, you have to rest. If you rest enough, you’ll heal quickly. Often, it’s just a muscle injury, which is why not overexerting the muscle is enough to recover as soon as possible.

Nonetheless, you should know that rest prevents the injury from recurring in the future or becoming chronic.

Don’t worry! You’ll regain your physical condition once you recover.

3. Do recovery exercises.

A woman doing recovery exercises with a physical therapist.

A physical therapist can help you recover from your injury properly and recommend the best exercises for you.

Next, if your injury is more severe, you must visit a physical therapist or specialist in the area. Recovery exercises are the key to recovery.

You must do the exercises you need to regain muscle mass and strengthen your muscles. If you don’t, you run the risk of suffering another injury in the same place.

4. Keep your body hydrated to recover from a muscle injury.

This is essential. Naturally, it’s important to recover after physical activity and keep your body hydrated. Dehydration favors injuries for different reasons.

Running or doing physical activity while dehydrated overexert your joints and makes you lose agility. On a muscular level, overexertion leads to a higher risk of a tendon, muscle, or joint injury because they lose elasticity. Therefore, you must make sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercising.

This article may interest you: 8 Reasons Why You Should Start Exercising

5. Eat foods that help you recover from a muscle injury.

Fruits and vegetables.

After an injury, you must closely monitor your diet and consume essential nutrients and antioxidants.

Overall, some fruits have nutrients that are beneficial for a speedy recovery. However, for this to happen, you need to follow a healthy diet. These foods are:

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids

These boost the recovery speed of damaged cells and collagen synthesis. Therefore, they improve mobility and relieve pain. They’re very important because their anti-inflammatory effects reduce the synthesis of cytokines, which are inflammatory components.

  • Selenium

This mineral is very important for the proper functioning of enzymes. When you suffer a muscle injury, it protects against oxidative damage. Tuna, cod, eggs, turkey, and fortified foods are rich in selenium.

  • Zinc

This nutrient aids wound healing, reduces inflammation, and ensures a proper immune response. Yogurt, lentils, beans, peas, milk, and spinach are rich in zinc.

  • Vitamin B12

This vitamin helps transform proteins into amino acids. During this process, the body produces new muscle proteins and ligaments to help create new muscle tissue. Dairy products and meat are the main sources of vitamin B12.

  • Vitamin C

Finally, vitamin C aids collagen formation and tendon and ligament repair. Besides containing vitamin C, lemons also contain hesperidin, a flavonoid that protects cells. Tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits, and strawberries are also rich in vitamin C.

Finally, you should know that muscle injuries represent 10 to 55% of all sports-related injuries. Depending on the extent of muscle damage, the injured athlete may take up to three months to be able to return to regular training and sports participation.

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