Rest and ice for the first few days after the injury. Anti-inflammatory medications or acetaminophen (Tylenol) also can be helpful to reduce pain and swelling in the first few days after the injury. As the pain decreases, using heat helps, along with stretching and light exercises to bring blood to the injured area.
Seek immediate medical help if you have a lot of swelling with the muscle strain or if you can't move your arms, legs, or joints.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.