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A muscle strain (also called a pulled muscle) occurs when a muscle is suddenly pulled or twisted, causing a tiny tear. Healing usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
Apply ice to the injury for 15 to 20 minutes each hour for the first 1 to 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin.
After the first one to two days, you may put heat on the injury to help ease the pain. Use a heating pad (set on low), a whirlpool bath, or warm, moist towels for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for 48 hours.
Do not use the pulled muscle for 2 to 3 days, or while you still have pain.