If you’ve ever pulled a muscle, you know how painful it can be. That’s why it’s extremely important to take the proper precautions to prevent muscle strain, pulled muscles and muscle tears.
A pulled muscle occurs when you overstretch or tear the muscle. You can strain, pull or tear any muscle, but the most common muscles that get pulled are in the lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring. Pulled muscles and muscle tears occur as a result of fatigue, lack of proper stretching and flexibility, poor conditioning, overuse, or something as simple as incorrect form during your workout.
Here are 5 tips to help decrease your risk of muscle strain, pulled muscles and muscle tears.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Before you begin your workout you’ll want to prepare your body and muscles for the demanding activity they’re about to endure. Getting your blood pumping and increasing your body temperature during your warm-up helps decrease the likelihood of muscle strain, pulled muscles and muscle tears. Warming up can include a brisk walk or light calisthenics.
The cool down period is important for muscle recovery, supporting blood circulation and sending oxygen to your muscles, which are in a deficit following a strenuous workout. Electric muscle stimulation can help speed up muscle recovery as you cool down post workout. Using PowerDot, simply set your EMS device to warm up, light recovery, active recovery, extended recovery or massage mode depending on the level of muscle stimulation you need to cool down and recover. Electrical muscle stimulation promotes blood flow and helps flush out lactic acid build up in the muscles.
Stretch Pre- and Post Workout
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy, helping to maintain range of motion in the joints. It also reduces tension in muscles, supports blood circulation and can lead to increased energy levels. Performing a slow, deliberate stretch across muscle groups helps prevent muscle strain, pulled muscles and muscle tears during your workout. When stretching is not incorporated into your workout regimen, the muscles shorten and become tight, putting you at risk for joint pain, muscle strain and even muscle damage.
Incorporate Strength Training into Your Workout
Strength training is a key component in preventing muscle strain, pulled muscles and muscle tears. It improves the strength of the muscles, tendons, and even the ligaments and bones. The stronger muscles and tendons help hold the body in proper alignment, and also protect the bones and joints when moving or under impact. Muscles that are not used regularly may become weak, which presents a problem when that muscle is called into play suddenly during an activity or workout.
A weaker muscle can't handle the sudden stress from a workout, causing injury including muscle strain, pulled muscles or muscle damage. It’s important to alternate muscle groups so you don't overwork a particular muscle. Incorporating a full-body strength training into your workout routine will help eliminate any weak areas and balance the body for other activities. Strength training also increases speed, strength, agility and muscular endurance, which will benefit athletes of every sport.
Change Sleeping Positions
How you sleep can also help prevent and treat muscle strain, pulled muscles and muscle tears. The two ideal positions for sleeping are on your back or side. Avoid sleeping on your stomach due to the possibility of creating tension in the body. Tension in the neck and lower back can create compression of the discs, degeneration and pulled muscles.
When sleeping on your back, keep one pillow under your head and one or two under your knees. The pillow under your head should comfortably support the natural curve of your neck. The pillows under your knees should keep your lower back flat against your mattress. If you're a side sleeper, keep one pillow under your head and one between your legs. The pillow between your legs should keep your legs parallel and prevent them from crossing over one another.
There is a science to sleep. Using electronic muscle stimulation on a regular basis helps restore muscles and ease muscle tension, allowing the body to relax and slip into a deeper, more restful sleep.This is where electrical muscle stimulation comes in to support muscle recovery, maintain health and wellness, and improve your sleep--all of which contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.
Try Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
Electrical muscle stimulation is proven to speed up muscle recovery--but don’t wait for an injury to use it. PowerDot EMS can also help prevent the injury from occurring in the first place.
You can use electric muscle stimulation to warm up for 5-7 minutes pre-workout using our warm up or light, active, or extended recovery settings. Our smart muscle stimulator helps reduce muscle discomfort and keeps inactive muscles moving. Cool down with another 5-7 minutes of massage to help relax and lengthen the muscles. Electrical muscle stimulation gently engages type 1, slow-twitch muscle fibers when used for recovery, helping to reduce muscle tightness, soreness, weakness and muscle strain as well as prevents pulled muscles, muscle tears and other injuries.
PowerDot provides a discreet solution for muscle recovery that is safe, clinically proven and FDA cleared. Apply your EMS pads on-the-go while you’re running errands or immediately post workout. Or wait until you get home, curl up on the couch with a blanket and your favorite TV show, and enjoy a hands-free massage.
Discover how you can perform better and recover faster by using EMS to oxygenate your muscles and blood.