The time needed to recover from a muscle injury depends on several factors such as the type and size of the injury, the person’s health and fitness, diet, etc. However, you can help speed up this process by following the tips described below.
If you are an athlete and you exercise several times a week, you run the risk of injury. But not for that reason you should stop playing sports and eat a healthy diet.
What is a muscle injury?
Muscle injuries include a wide range of possible injuries ranging from minimal initial muscle contracture to complete muscle breakdown . The causes of the rupture are very varied:
- Unsuitable muscle balance : all muscle groups comprise muscles of opposite functions in the form of agonists and antagonists (for example, biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, etc.). When there is an imbalance between the two, the risk of injury increases.
- Elasticity deficit : being more rigid increases the risk of rupture.
- Hygienic-dietary alteration : dehydration before, during and after sport. Dehydrated muscle is more exposed to injuries.
- Histo-chemical disorders: alterations of the trace elements (calcium, potassium …) necessary for muscle metabolism. Therefore, it is important to respect the recovery periods and provide this type of nutrients.
- Bad support, type of shoes, incorrect sports gestures : they condition a muscular overexertion with the consequent overload.
- Insufficient rest, sleep a few hours, insufficient warm-up : affect recovery and muscle tension.
- Atmospheric conditions, weather : cold and humidity.
- Each athlete’s own conditions : race, sex, genetic conditions, etc.
Habits to recover from a muscle injury
1. Use ice
The moment you get injured, obviously, you should not force the injured area. Apply ice for a few minutes to reduce inflammation and repeat the process three times a day.
The ice is beneficial for injuries due to its vasoconstrictor effect. In this way, it reduces blood flow in the area and works both as a soothing and anti-inflammatory. Raising the damaged limb also helps its speedy recovery.
Once you have received medical attention and applied ice, you should rest. The area of the lesion should remain relaxed so you can heal quickly. Many times it is just a muscle injury, so not forcing the muscle is enough to recover as soon as possible.
Still, you should know that rest prevents the injury from recurring in the future or becoming chronic. You should not worry, because you will recover your physical form when you do the rehabilitation.
3. Perform recovery exercises
If your injury is more serious, you need to visit a sports physiotherapist or specialist in the area. Recovery exercises are the key to slowly recovering.
It is very important that you perform the exercises you need to recover muscle mass and strengthen the muscle. If you do not, you run the risk of suffering another injury in the same place with more probability.
We cannot forget something essential. Recovery after sports and maintain good hydration is essential. The dehydration favors injuries for different reasons .
Running dehydrated or making a sports effort forces the joints and causes us to lose agility. On a muscular level, in an overload or an overexertion it is easier for a tendon, a muscle or a link to get injured because they lose elasticity. For this reason, it is necessary to give importance to hydration before, during and after exercise.
5. Eat foods that help you recover from a muscle injury
There are some foods that have nutrients that are beneficial for a speedy recovery. But for this to happen, it is necessary to have a healthy diet. These foods are:
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
They increase the speed of recovery of damaged cells and the synthesis of collagen , improving mobility and pain. Its anti-inflammatory effects are very important because they decrease the synthesis of cytokines, pro-inflammatory components of the body.
This mineral is very important for enzymes to function properly. When there is a muscle injury, it protects against oxidative damage. Foods rich in selenium are tuna, cod, eggs, turkeys, fortified foods.
It helps wound healing , inflammation and ensures a correct immune response. Sources of this mineral are yogurt, lentils, beans, peas, milk, spinach.
It helps transform proteins into amino acids that are then used again to convert them into other proteins. During this process, new muscle proteins and ligaments are produced that help create new muscle tissue. Dairy products and meats are the main source of vitamin B12 .
It helps the formation of collagen and the repair of tendons and ligaments. Lemon, apart from containing vitamin C, has hesperidin, a flavonoid that protects cells . Other sources of this vitamin are tomato, broccoli, strawberries.
As additional information, we tell you that the incidence of muscle injury covers 10 to 55% of all sports-related injuries and, depending on the extent of muscle damage, return to regular training and sports participation can last up to three months .