Sometimes, soreness and stiffness due to overexertion or incorrect form is treatable at home by resting, using cold compresses, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. When pain continues after several days and is accompanied by inflammation and swelling, something more may be going on than simple muscle strain.
Although limited swelling is necessary for the body to progress from one healing stage to the next, some types of swelling may inhibit healing. When an injury causes bleeding into tissue, a swelling called a hematoma occurs that may require immediate medical attention. Swelling within joints is called an effusion and may lead to joint stiffness. If your injured joint feels like it wants to give out or buckle, you may have sustained a ligament injury commonly seen in ACL tears in the knee.
Treating more serious injuries may involve our Harrisburg-based orthopedic urgent care physicians applying immobilization techniques to prevent further damage. Immobilization using slings, splints or casts rests the body part and allows blood flow to the area to encourage healing. Rehabilitative exercises may also be recommended to restore and strengthen damaged muscles and ligaments.