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how long to get back to gym after muscle strain

I am female and 56 years old. I regularly work out at the gym and lift weights 3 times a week. I was lifting a little bit heavier and I was tired but I did the workout and didn't feel any pain. That night my muscles were tight and when I bent over I felt a sharp pain in my left lat muscle. I have rested and just gone walking instead. Since it is probably a light strain I wonder how to know when to go back without taking too much time off? I am Icing it today and taking Ibuprofen. It feels more stiff in the morning and I can sleep at night. Most of the day it doesn't hurt much but it is still there. I don't think it was bad posture at the gym as I have had a trainer for 5 years and I am very careful to follow his directions. I don't have him now as I quit about two months ago. Shall I wait 3 days and then test my bending ability slightly and go from there? When do you think it is safe to lift weights? Of course I will start out lighter.
thanks
mkh9
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Just wondering, do you warm up before you begin your lifting routine?  Do you stretch down after?  As for your question, recovery depends on what's going on.  If it's just a little stressed, it will heal quickly.  If you tweaked something, it would take longer.  Only way to know for sure is time.  Because of your age, it's not like being young when working through little things fixed them.  I would also add, ice is good if it's something inflamed, but if it's a tight muscle, then you probably want heat.  That's the problem self-diagnosing, you really don't know what to do for sure.  I'd say, because of your age, wait until it doesn't hurt anymore, but if you do legs, you can probably still go ahead and do those.  Just avoid stressing the part that hurts.  
2 Comments
Yes I stretch/roll for about an hour before for all areas, and 15 minutes after on specific muscles. I was lifting 30lbs kettle bell Romanian Dead lifts and then went up the next time to 35. The 30 had been easy and I did 3 sets of 10 reps. So I thought the 35 would be okay. I completed 3 sets of 10 reps on the 35 and didn't feel anything. I got home and was fine until at night bent straight over, without bending my knees, as I always do and got something off the cabinet near the floor and felt a tweek or pinch. When I was 30 I never stretched. I didn't need to.  I will ice it again. I took Ibuprofen twice yesterday and today and iced it yesterday. It seems better but not totally gone. It doesn't hurt all the time just once in a while now. Today is day 3. If it doesn't hurt tomorrow then I will try stretching a little. If it was worse or I can't get rid of it soon I will see my doctor and/or master trainer. The trainer is also certified in myofascial stretching.  The problem is I previously had a glute injury and my doctor said to do nothing and handed me pain meds, so I sat around and the pain got worse. It took me years to get out of the deconditioned state.  I find sitting and doing nothing but walking isn't enough. So that is why I went on here.
thanks,
mkh9
I feel you.  I've gotten old and, after a lifetime of exercising/playing sports I'm hurt all over.  Orthopedists, physical therapists left me with hours of stuff to do every day.  Doing nothing can be fatal, doing too much can be fatal.  You'll be fine.  Sounds like you just tweaked it a bit.  It happens.  Don't roll too much or stretch too much -- warming up is better than static stretching, probably.  Stretching feels really good and rolling feels really good but then it gets too hard and wears on some.  Measure it all by how it goes over time.  Sounds to me more like soreness and a tweak than anything serious.  Peace.  
Avatar universal
3-4 months
1 Comments
Nope. It depends on the injury. I am okay after a week  
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