A pulled hamstring is the last thing one would want. Despite being a very common injury that affects people who are mostly into high-speed sporting activities, people still get worried on how to manage it. Popping pain-killers is what many resorts to but it should be kept in mind this habit has a lot of side-effects.
Natural treatments or home remedies are the best ways to deal with injuries like these because of their effectiveness and non-toxicity. Check out the 7 natural treatments to get pain relief for a pulled hamstring.
1. Apply Ice To The Injured Area
The first and foremost thing to do when you pull a muscle is to place an ice pack on the strained muscle for a good 10-20 minutes. This should be repeated for at least 4 times over a period of 24-48 hours. The cold compress will do soothe the pain and reduce the swelling. Studies even claim that applying ice can even help the muscle fibers heal faster.1
2. Add More Healing Foods To Your Diet
Diet is medicine. Since centuries, the anti-inflammatory effects of many plants have been used for wound healing and pain relief. When you are suffering from an injury like a pulled hamstring, it’s only natural that the body releases immunity-modulating agents in defense.
The following foods can be added to your diet to speed up the repair and rejuvenation due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Have ginger-infused tea or add at least 2 g to your diet.2
- Include pineapple in your diet due to its anti-inflammatory bromelain.3
- Reap the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids from cod liver oil, walnuts and chia seeds.4
- Spice up your diet with turmeric as it contains the very potent curcumin.5
- Drink green tea at least twice a day, so that the anti-inflammatory catechins can act on your sore hamstring.6
3. Heal Faster With Heat Application
It is alright to apply a hot compress/cloth on to the painful region but only after 48 hours. Heat application of about 20 minutes daily can alleviate pain by relaxing the tense muscles. Make sure that the water is just hot enough and for added benefits, you can mix a cup of Epsom salt to it. Use a clean towel to apply the heat and don’t leave it on while sleeping. Heat application is the best for people who repeatedly suffer from hamstring injuries.7
4. Stay Hydrated
Keep your body replenished with the intake of lots of clean, drinking water. Researchers have found that dehydrated muscles are more prone to damage and injury.8 Hydrated muscles are more flexible and stretch better. So, even while nursing a hamstring injury, remember to drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day.
5. Move Around A Little Bit
A pulled hamstring doesn’t mean that you should just be in bed. Mild amount of exercise will get your blood circulation going which will, in turn, promote healing. Walking and stretching are great ways to rehabilitate the strained muscles so that it recovers faster.9
6. Catch Some Sound Sleep
An injury is the best reason to give your body some much-needed rest. At least 6-8 hours of sleep is a must. Scientists have found that people suffering from disturbed sleep have a higher tendency to develop muscle soreness.10 Your body heals and repairs the muscle fibers under the influence of growth hormones during a well-rested sleep.
Follow these simple natural remedies to boost your body’s repair mechanisms and help you recover from the hamstring injury without any risk of side-effects.
|↑1||Bleakley, Chris, Suzanne McDonough, and Domhnall MacAuley. “The use of ice in the treatment of acute soft-tissue injury a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.” The American journal of sports medicine 32, no. 1 (2004): 251-261.|
|↑2||Black, Christopher D., Matthew P. Herring, David J. Hurley, and Patrick J. O’Connor. “Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise.” The Journal of Pain 11, no. 9 (2010): 894-903.|
|↑3||Tochi, Bitange Nipa, Zhang Wang, Shi-Ying Xu, and Wenbin Zhang. “Therapeutic application of pineapple protease (bromelain): a review.” Pakistan journal of nutrition 7, no. 4 (2008): 513-520.|
|↑4||Tartibian, Bakhtiar, Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki, and Asghar Abbasi. “The effects of ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids on perceived pain and external symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness in untrained men.” Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 19, no. 2 (2009): 115-119.|
|↑5||Davis, J. Mark, E. Angela Murphy, Martin D. Carmichael, Mark R. Zielinski, Claire M. Groschwitz, Adrienne S. Brown, J. David Gangemi, Abdul Ghaffar, and Eugene P. Mayer. “Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 292, no. 6 (2007): R2168-R2173.|
|↑6||Maroon, Joseph C., Jeffrey W. Bost, and Adara Maroon. “Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief.” Surg Neurol Int 1 (2010): 80.|
|↑7||TREATING PAIN WITH HEAT OR COLD COMPRESS. Marshfield Clinic|
|↑8||Schwellnus, M. P. “Cause of exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMC)—altered neuromuscular control, dehydration or electrolyte depletion?.” British journal of sports medicine 43, no. 6 (2009): 401-408.|
|↑9||Hamstring Strain Stretching Exercises. Sportsinjuryclinic|
|↑10||Bennett, Robert M., Sharon R. Clark, Stephen M. Campbell, and Carol S. Burckhardt. “Low levels of somatomedin C in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome. A possible link between sleep and muscle pain.” Arthritis & Rheumatism 35, no. 10 (1992): 1113-1116.|