Pulled Muscles: How Manual Therapy & Chiropractic Can Help

December 12, 2023


Treating a Pulled Muscle:

We know that dealing with a pulled muscle can be both painful and frustrating, especially when it interferes with daily activities and overall well-being. While rest and self-care are essential components of the healing process, the incorporation of manual therapy and chiropractic care can significantly enhance recovery.

In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to effectively treat a pulled muscle and delve into the advantages of utilizing manual therapy and chiropractic techniques during the healing journey.


Treating a Pulled Muscle: The Basics

A pulled muscle, medically referred to as a muscle strain, occurs when muscle fibers are overstretched or torn due to sudden movements, overexertion, or improper form during physical activities. The initial step in treating a pulled muscle is to remember the acronym R.I.C.E.: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

These measures help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.

  • Rest: Allow the injured muscle to rest and avoid activities that exacerbate the pain. Straining the muscle further can impede the healing process and lead to more severe complications.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the affected area for about 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours in the initial 48 hours helps reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a cloth to prevent direct contact with the skin.
  • Compression: Gently wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage provides support and helps reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Keeping the injured limb elevated, especially during sleep, aids in minimizing swelling and promoting fluid drainage.


chiropractic for hip painThe Role of Manual Therapy and Chiropractic Care

While the R.I.C.E. method forms the foundation of pulled muscle treatment, manual therapy and chiropractic care offer complementary benefits that expedite recovery and prevent future injuries.


Manual Therapy: Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques performed by skilled therapists to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and enhance muscle function. Various methods, including soft tissue mobilization and joint manipulation, can be tailored to the individual’s needs.


Chiropractic Care: Chiropractors, such as our Doctors at Tangelo, specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including pulled muscles. Chiropractic adjustments involve precise, controlled force applied to joints to restore proper alignment and function.


Spinal Alignment: Chiropractors can identify any misalignments in the spine that might be contributing to muscle imbalances and pain. Correcting these misalignments alleviates strain on surrounding muscles and nerves.


Joint Mobility: Chiropractic adjustments also improve joint mobility, which aids in maintaining proper muscle balance and preventing compensation patterns that can impede healing.


Benefits of Manual Therapy and Chiropractic Care for Muscle Healing

  • Faster Recovery: Manual therapy techniques stimulate blood flow to the injured area, accelerating the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen required for healing. Chiropractic adjustments promote the body’s natural healing processes by improving nerve communication and alignment.
  • Pain Relief: Both manual therapy and chiropractic care target pain receptors, providing relief from discomfort. Muscle tension is reduced, and nerve irritations are minimized, leading to a reduction in pain levels.
  • Improved Range of Motion: Manual therapy techniques, such as stretching and joint mobilization, enhance flexibility and range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper joint function, allowing the muscles to move more freely.
  • Prevention of Recurrence: Manual therapy and chiropractic care address the root causes of muscle strains, identifying and correcting imbalances (through functional rehabilitation) that can lead to future injuries. This proactive approach reduces the risk of re-injury.


The Path to Recovery

The path to recovery from a pulled muscle involves a combination of rest, self-care, and professional intervention. Manual therapy, chiropractic care, and even progressive rehabilitation offer invaluable benefits during the healing process, from promoting faster recovery and pain relief to improving range of motion and preventing future injuries.

By incorporating these therapies alongside traditional treatments, individuals can optimize their healing journey and regain their active lifestyles sooner and with reduced risk of re-injury. If you live in the Seattle or Portland area, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your team at Tangelo to ensure the best approach for your specific needs.