If I am exercising and notice a contracture, how should I act?

If there is a golden rule in sport, it is that whenever pain is noticed, it must be stopped. Although it is a slight pull, forcing the affected area can lead to the appearance of an injury.

Contractures may appear both when the exercise is being performed (involuntary and painful contraction of the muscle) and during rest, caused by excessive fatigue of the fibers, which do not recover or relax properly.

In any case, at the moment in which a contracture is noticed, the most appropriate thing is to stop any action that is being carried out, rest and slightly stretch the area. Stretching, although it can produce microfissures of the fibers, reorients the damaged fibers and favors that, if a fibrillar rupture has occurred, it heals in the natural sense and not forming a ball.

Then, ice (gel or cubed) wrapped in cloth, never directly on the skin, will be applied to lower the swelling and promote blood flow in the area.

At this point it is advisable to visit the specialist doctor, who will rule the severity of the injury and the treatment that must be followed, which is usually composed of the application of anti-inflammatory drugs and immobilization.

During the two days after the damage occurs it is advisable to avoid any rapid and abrupt movement that may affect the injury. Absolute rest will ensure a good recovery of the fibers. After the first 72 hours, you can start stimulating the area with massages and gentle stretching. It is advisable to wait at least one week before returning to physical exercise.

Mireia Arjona. ICE Health

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