Muscle strains and tears can be incredibly painful. Often immobilizing the affected person. It’s useful to know how to help someone to prevent the injury from worsening. Some basic first aid knowledge can be applied to alleviate pain, and help kick start the recovery process.

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Symptoms

Muscle strains and tears occur when the muscle is overstretched or physically exhausted. Look out for these classic symptoms:

  1. Sharp pain during physical movement
  2. Achy sensation in the muscle at rest
  3. Swelling and bruising at the site of the injury

Helpful hint - Torn muscles can even pop or make sounds as they disattach. Take extra care of casualties who report this during your assessment

Rest

The first stage of the treatment process is to get the affected person to immediately stop the activity which has caused the strain. Sometimes it is better to get them to lay / sit down to prevent further damage occurring. From here an assessment can be made about the severity of the injury.

Ice

Ice can help reduce swelling and is useful at alleviating pain around the affected area. Apply an ice pack on the injury, but remember to wrap a cloth around it (in order not to burn the skin). Cold compresses can also be used in the absence of ice. Certain types are chemically activated by snapping them, and can be useful in the first aid box.

Remember - Apply ice for 10-20 minute periods in the first 48 hours after the injury

On Going Treatment

First aid treatment is still quite limited during these events. The above steps will hopefully ensure that no further damage occurs. Full recovery will vary depending on the severity of the injury.

As a guide people should only jog when they can walk pain free, and run when they can jog and so so. Consider visiting a physiotherapist who are professionally trained at getting people back to normal activity.