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When can I exercise again after a muscle injury?

Gerald M. Silverman
Chiropractic Medicine

Treat some of the immediate physical changes, including swelling, sensations of heat, and the release of loss-of-movement irritants that produce noxious pain impulses. For trauma or overexertion of muscles, two to three days of rest (minimal time in bed in addition to sleeping, and no forceful exertion) is the treatment of choice. Strained (slightly pulled) and sprained (slightly separated) tissues need time to heal and should not be taxed during the healing period. So, without being fear-avoidant, it is important to remember that insufficient rest after injury exposes you to an increased risk of further injury. However, because loss of motion can delay recovery, it's beneficial to begin gentle and comfortable movement as soon as possible.

Eventually, you'll want to exercise to make sure the tissues repair themselves fully and properly, but initially, rest and gentle movement are recommended. Complete bed rest should only be considered when even minimal movement or slight weight bearing causes severe shooting or stabbing pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.