Man with shoulder muscle strain grimacing in pain

Fast-track to recovery: how to speed up muscle strain recovery.

Imagine this: You’re in the middle of your workout, feeling great, when suddenly, a sharp pain shoots through your muscles. You’ve just experienced a muscle strain, and now you’re left wondering how long it will take to heal and, more importantly, how to speed up the recovery process.

Knowing the right steps can make a world of difference in your recovery, whether you're dealing with a minor pull or a more severe muscle tear. Let’s explore how to get back on your feet faster and stronger.

How long does a muscle strain take to heal?

The recovery time for a muscle strain can vary based on the severity of the injury and how well you follow your treatment plan. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Mild strains. Typically heals within a few days to a week. These involve minor damage to muscle fibers and cause mild pain and swelling.
  • Moderate strains. These strains can take a few weeks to heal. They involve more damaged muscle fibers and more significant pain and swelling.
  • Severe strains. These may require several months of recovery. They involve a complete tear of the muscle, significant pain, and swelling and often require medical attention.

Understanding your injury level is crucial for setting realistic expectations for your muscle strain recovery time.


How to speed up muscle strain recovery.

Speeding up muscle strain recovery involves a combination of rest, proper treatment and targeted exercises. Here are some helpful strategies:

Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).

  • Rest. Give your injured muscle time to heal by avoiding activities that can worsen the strain.
  • Ice. Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes every hour to reduce swelling and numb the pain.
  • Compression. Use a compression bandage to minimize swelling and support the injured muscle.
  • Elevation. Elevate the injured area above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

Increase blood flow.

  • Gentle movements. Once the initial pain and swelling subside, gentle movements can help increase blood flow and promote healing.
  • Heat therapy. After the first 48 hours, applying heat can help relax tight muscles and improve blood flow.

Muscle strain treatment and exercises.

  • Pain relief. Over-the-counter pain relief medications can help manage pain and inflammation.
  • Stretching and strengthening. Gradually introduce stretching and strengthening exercises to restore muscle function and prevent future injuries.
  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can provide personalized exercises and treatments to speed up recovery and improve muscle regeneration.

Nutrition and hydration.

  • Stay hydrated. Proper hydration is important for muscle recovery and overall health.
  • Balanced diet. Eating a balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals can support muscle healing and growth.


Treating strained muscles at CityMD.

When dealing with a muscle strain, getting the right treatment and care is essential to ensure a full recovery. Here’s how CityMD can help:

Professional evaluation.

  • Diagnosis. Our healthcare providers will assess your injury to determine the severity of the muscle strain and the best course of action.
  • Personalized treatment plan. We will create a tailored treatment plan that may include pain relief, physical therapy and specific exercises to aid your recovery.

Ongoing support.

  • Follow-up visits. If you need follow-up care, we can connect you with an orthopedist and other specialists at our care partner Summit Health. Our orthopedists can monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
  • Comprehensive care. From initial diagnosis to full recovery, our healthcare team is here to support you.

Urgent care services.

  • Immediate attention. Walk into any CityMD location for prompt and expert care without needing an appointment.
  • Expert guidance. Our healthcare providers are trained to handle muscle injuries and provide you with the best possible care.

At CityMD, we are committed to helping you recover quickly and effectively from muscle strains. If you are dealing with a muscle injury, do not hesitate to visit your nearest CityMD for professional care and advice. And if you need follow-up care we can connect you with specialists in 80+ areas of medicine at Summit Health.

Your health and well-being are our top priorities. By following these steps and seeking appropriate care, you can speed up your muscle strain recovery and get back to your active lifestyle in no time.

Health and Wellness

We’re ready to care for you.

Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.