Question: I love your column. I pulled a muscle in the back of my thigh and it has been bothering me for a couple weeks. Is there anything I can do to treat it myself without going to the doctor?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Mild muscle strains usually heal sufficiently within two weeks to resume normal activity. Initial treatment involves rest, elevation, and cool compresses for several days. You can also take acetaminophen, as needed. Anti-inflammatory use may actually delay your healing. More major strains and torn muscle tissue require rest, use of crutches, and occasionally even splinting or casting to heal. If you have high pain that persists and does not improve, you should pick up the phone and make an appointment to visit your doctor for a checkup. It would be a shame if you have been nursing a torn tendon, blood clot, hematoma or tumor.