It’s another beautiful fall day here on Long Island, and it’s the first day of my Holiday Jump Start Program! While we didn’t quite get to 20 members, we came pretty damn close at 18 :-). Being that this is the first time I’ve ever put something like this together, I’m very pleased with the quality group we have, and I’m excited to see the strides that they make as the next eight weeks go by! For all the group members, I have no doubt that this will be the jumpstart they need to lose their weight once and for all in a healthy, sustainable, and PERMANENT way.
Now then, I’d mentioned yesterday that I’d pulled a muscle in my back while playing softball yesterday morning. It’s about 75-80% right now, and I’m sure by the time I wake up tomorrow, it’ll be like nothing ever happened! Whether it be from clients, from inquisitive people on Quora, or from random people who find out what I do for a living, I get asked a number of questions about how to handle muscle pulls.
Obviously, if you’re looking to improve your health and your fitness, a muscle pull can set you back – Sometimes for a couple of days, and sometimes even for a couple of weeks! Different areas heal at different rates, but there are a few general rules of thumb I’d like to share with you today to help you stay off the shelf for an extended period of time next time you experience something like this.
First, we have to distinguish whether you have a muscle sprain, or a muscle strain…
A muscle sprain occurs when a ligament (an area that connects two bones together at a joint) is either stretched or torn, whereas a muscle strain occurs when a muscle or a tendon is either stretched or torn. Now, the treatment measures you should take!
1) Take a warm Epsom salt bath.
Most pharmacies near me sell various brands of Epsom salt. If this isn’t the case for you, Amazon.com is a wonderful thing! This type of bath is a go-to for people who either just have sore muscles, or who have muscle pulls of some sort. Fill your tub with warm water, add a couple of cups of Epsom salt, and then keep your affected areas submerged for 20 minutes.
I’ll often listen to an audiobook or a podcast (my favorite is the Joe Rogan Podcast) for the 20 minutes, and I’ll set a timer for 21 minutes on my phone, giving myself a minute to lay down in the tub and get situated. Once the 20 minutes are up, I’ll shut off the timer, drain the bath, and will shower off the excess salt and whatnot left on my body.
2) Do three rounds of ice on the area for 20 minutes per round.
Now that the affected area has been loosened up a little bit, you’ll want to apply cold to it pretty quickly. While some initial heat can make the muscles relax and nullify the pain a bit, continual heat will cause inflammation in the area to surge, which obviously isn’t conducive to it healing. Just sit back or lay down, and apply ice to the area for three rounds of 20 minutes each, taking an hour or so in between each round. This will calm the area down enough for you to function just a little bit better than when you initially pulled the muscle.
3) Stretch the area!
Even though it’s probably going to be very uncomfortable, it’s important to do everything you can to loosen up the effected area. While doing this yesterday in between my Epsom salt bath and my icing, I unintentionally adjusted the area, which brought a great deal of relief. While merely moving around today with a couple of clients, I adjusted the area a couple more times without even trying, and if I had a game tonight, I’d be able to go 😉
4) If necessary, see an acupuncturist or a chiropractor.
If your condition doesn’t significantly improve after 24 hours (like mine has), I’d recommend seeing either an acupuncturist or a chiropractor to help expedite the process. If it’s a sprain, find a local acupuncturist (if you don’t have one already) and get treatment done on the area. A chiropractor does a better job of adjusting areas that are off skeletally, so if you have a sprain (like I do now) that isn’t going away with my home remedy methods, then that’s where I’d go.
Hope this helps next time you have a pull! Oh, and one more thing: Being incapacitated for a few days does NOT give you an out for staying on top of your nutrition!! While you’re healing and you’re trying to reduce inflammation in an area, the LAST thing you should be doing is fueling your body with inflammatory garbage like grains, processed foods, and sugar. Stick with good nutrition, and your body will heal itself a heck of a lot faster 😉
P.S. Speaking of nutrition, I recently updated my Food Guide to assist my Holiday Jump Start Program members, as well as my current roster of clients.
The Food Guide explains the three phases of nutrition my Permanent Weight Loss clients go through over the course of their journeys, giving very concrete and specific examples of which foods are good, which are bad, and how to continue making progress for the rest of their lives.
Of course, when dealing with food prep, my Healthy Recipe Book is the ticket! It contains 72 recipes (and counting!) spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers and desserts. You can have your cake and eat it, too, provided you make some adjustments with the ingredients you’re putting into your dishes.
Normally, each one of these e-books sells for $25 a piece, but since I’m in a giving mood, I’m willing to part with both for just $13.99! That’s a savings of over 70%!!