Apply cold packs to a strain. When you strain a ligament or a muscle, applying cold packs for the next 1 to 3 days is the best treatment. Don't use heat. Hot soaks or a heating pad may increase swelling and inflammation.
Commercial cold packs are safer than using ice. Prolonged exposure to ice can result in frostbite. If you do not have a commercial cold pack, you can use an ice bag or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice that has been wrapped in a towel. Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart to help decrease swelling. Use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb.
Heat is better for chronic pain or for muscle relaxation. It could be helpful after the first 3 or 4 days.
Young athletes can reduce the chance of muscle strain or other injuries during sports by making warm-ups, such as
stretching and light jogging, and cooldowns part of their routine before and after participating in sports.