How to Heal a Torn Muscle

By Michael Hinckley

Tears in the muscle tissue can occur from overexertion on the golf course and are very painful. Golfers run the risk of tearing a muscle by playing too many holes in a single day or by using poor technique or equipment improperly. Leg, pectoral, arm and groin "strains" are the most common for golfers, and any one of them can put a golfer out of commission for a few days. Luckily, the majority of muscle tears are treatable in a four-step process and can heal quickly. Knowing what to do, and when, is important if you want to get back into the game soon and avoid unnecessary pain and medical expenses.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Rest the muscle immediately. Further activity may cause further injury. so avoid unnecessary use of the muscle; for example, if you tear a leg muscle but must walk to get help you should do so slowly or with assistance.
Step 2
Apply ice. Ice just means intense cold; a reusable cold compress, cloth with ice cubes, or even a bag of frozen vegetables will reduce swelling and alleviate some of the pain. Apply three to four times a day to the affected area for the next 72 hours.
Step 3
Compress the injury. When not applying ice, wrap the injured area in elastic-laced cloth bandages. such as Ace brand bandages. Wrap the area snugly, but not tightly, to prevent swelling and yet allow the flow of blood and other fluids to and from the area. Keep the area wrapped for the next 72 hours, but remove the bandage occasionally to air out the skin and apply ice.
Step 4
Elevate the injury. Keep the injured area even with or higher than your heart to prevent painful swelling.
Step 5
Resume play carefully. Though you may feel fine, the muscle may still be relatively weak. Therefore, you should play only a few holes and work back up to longer stints on the golf course; a little caution now can prevent re-tearing the muscle and making a relatively minor injury into something more serious.

Tips & Warnings

If a strain or tear remains painful for more than 72 hours, consult a physician. If intense pain persists after 48 hours, consult a physician. A slight increase in pain usually occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours of an injury; a mild analgesic can make you comfortable at this point. Seek medical attention if the injury prevents all movement of the muscle or swelling or redness persists over 72 hours, or if pain becomes too intense for a mild analgesic.
If a strain or tear remains painful for more than 72 hours, consult a physician.
If intense pain persists after 48 hours, consult a physician.
A slight increase in pain usually occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours of an injury; a mild analgesic can make you comfortable at this point.
Seek medical attention if the injury prevents all movement of the muscle or swelling or redness persists over 72 hours, or if pain becomes too intense for a mild analgesic.
Do not apply cold directly to the skin as this may damage the skin. Do not wrap any bandage too tightly as this may cause more trauma to the injured area.

About The Author

Michael Hinckley received a Bachelor of Arts degree in US history from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Arts degree in Middle East history from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hinckley is conversant in Arabic, and is a part-time lecturer at two Midwestern universities.

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