Did you know that it’s estimated that over half of all Americans adults have muscle pain, ranging from mild to chronic? The pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as strain, overuse, trauma, accidents, and even emotional stresses. First aid for muscle injuries includes applying an ice pack or other cold compress, elevating the injured area, and resting it. It’s important to immediately cease any activity that could further strain or tear the muscle. If you have muscle pain caused by an injury, get a proper diagnosis of how much damage has been done. In addition to having injured your muscles or ligaments, you may need an X-ray to rule out that there hasn’t been a bone fracture. For strain or sprain, rest is the most important remedy, because continued activity can make the sprain worse and cause more pain. However, don’t rest so long that the tendons or ligaments stiffen up and restrict your range of motion. A severe strain or sprain may require medical treatment. You can help prevent muscle injuries by staying in good condition and learning how not to overdo it when exercising, participating in sports, engaging in heavy labor, or even when doing everyday activities around the house. In addition to a general conditioning program, you may wish to learn how to safely perform activities such as bending, lifting, carrying heavy objects, or reaching for objects located in high and low places. For more information about treating muscle injuries and how to prevent them, contact a health care professional.