Fitness Tips from the Pilates Center

Minimize the damage and speed the healing with correct treatment-right away.

The acronym RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) best applies to all muscle injuries, severe as well as minor. A recent addition to this traditional treatment is early immobilization of the injured muscle in a position of tension. For example if the quadriceps muscle is injured, placing the knee in a partially flexed position (30 to 90 degrees), which also means your quad muscle is now stretched, improves recovery. This most likely because a muscle under tension bleeds less and so doesn't produce as large a hematoma, or bruise.

When a muscle injury occurs, you might not know how severe it is. If you experience significant pain, the immediate application of RICE is a good strategy. By acting quickly you significantly decrease the possible complications of a major injury. If the injury is major, continue the ice and compression for 48 hours and keep the muscle immobilized for 48-72 hours.