Does Massaging a Pulled Muscle Help? Learn the Truth!

Pulling or straining a muscle can be quite painful, especially if it occurs in sensitive places on your body.

If you experience a pulled muscle, you might wonder if a massage will help or hurt the muscle, but not to worry because massaging pulled muscles can benefit those muscles in numerous ways.

What Is a Pulled Muscle?

Pulled muscles happen when the muscle is stretched from overdoing it and tiny tears actually start to develop within the muscle fibers.

This can cause a lot of pain each time you try to use the muscles, and there are three levels, or grades, of pulled muscles, from mild discomfort to severe pain.

The treatment varies a bit depending on how serious the injury is, but most doctors prescribe the following to help you feel better so you can recover:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Gentle stretching
  • Ice
  • Putting heat on it
  • Rest
  • Strengthening

When you first get a pulled muscle, you should concentrate on resting and applying ice to it, although the latter shouldn’t be done more than 15 minutes at a time.

After the first few days, you can put heat on the injury and apply strengthening and stretching techniques to prepare the muscle to go back to doing your regular activities.

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How to Treat a Pulled or Strained Muscle with Massage

When you want relief for a pulled or strained muscle, massaging that muscle can do it a lot of good.

You can do this several ways. First, if you want to massage it yourself, simply use some essential oils diluted in a carrier oil (almond oil, olive oil, and so on) and rub it into the muscle.

Oils that help with pain include lavender, rosemary, and peppermint, and you can simply rub the muscle gently with the oil to get rid of some of the pain.

You can also choose to get a professional massage, and this works exceptionally well because a massage therapist will know just how to rub and where to rub to produce the best results. You’ll also know that the job is being done safely and therefore, there is no concern that you’ll be in more pain when you leave.

Finally, if you choose to do it yourself, you can put toe to three tennis balls in a sock, tie up the end of the sock, and use that as a massage tool.

Or better yet, you can purchase one of these percussion massagers. These tools are very easy to use and can provide relief almost instantly, so they are worth having on hand when you have a muscle pull or strain.

Can I Prevent a Pulled or Strained Muscle?

Although you may not be able to completely eliminate the possibility of getting a pulled muscle at some point, you can greatly reduce the chances by following a few simple tips. These include:

  • Always warm up properly before you start exercise or any other strenuous activity.
  • Make sure you include stretching and strengthening your muscles as part of your workout routine.
  • Apply the proper techniques when working out, especially when lifting weights.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Always practice good posture when you sit or stand.

Practicing these tips can indeed reduce the odds of developing an injured muscle at some point, and the good news is they are super easy to follow and should produce results almost immediately.


Pulled muscles are never fun and can hurt quite a bit.

Although they can prevent you from exercising for up to five days or more, you will eventually get back into the swing of things, and massaging the muscle is a good start to making it feel better.

Massaging these muscles stretches them out so they can heal faster, increasing blood circulation and oxygen to the muscle to make it feel better and go away much faster.