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Pulled muscles

One day I was playing in the park with one of my kids when I felt sudden severe, disabling pain in my calf that brought tears to my eyes. It was a torn gastrocnemius or pulled muscle. My immediate reaction was, “How can I work tomorrow if I can’t walk?”

How I managed to drive home I’ll never know, but when I got there, the first thing I did was rub some wheatgrass cream into the painful area. Within an hour the pain started to ease, and next morning had almost disappeared so that I could still make my usual five flight climb up the office back stairs. In a couple of days I was running completely pain-free.

Every time I see a pulled hamstring or monkey muscle (gastrocnemius) on the field or on TV, I wince. The sudden onset of excruciating pain, often from a minor injury, can stop an athlete in his or her tracks, and they can be off the field for weeks or months. Treatment such as physio, massage and other methodologies follows, but, unless it is a major rupture, there’s usually no need for this, because there is a way these injured people can be effectively treated and got back on their feet again in very quick time.

Initial treatment for pulled muscles consists of applying an ice pack and a tight bandage and resting the injured part. Common experience and observation shows this has little effect on hastening recovery and research tends to support this view. But if there's nothing else, what does one do?

For years now I have treated pulled muscles effectively by massaging in some wheatgrass extract for a couple of minutes as soon as possible or even several weeks after the injury. Frequently, the patient is up and running in a day or two or recovers from longer term injuries much quicker.

How does wheatgrass work? I don’t think anyone knows for sure, but it appears to have a lot to do with stopping deep-seated bleeding via activation of growth factors. Bleeding into tissues after injury is the scourge of the sporting world. (Read more)

So why don’t trainers, physiotherapists and other sports therapists use wheatgrass? Well increasing numbers are realising just how effective it can be. Others simply don't believe it works because it's too good to be true. But take my word for it, it does work - even on hamstrings.

Dr. Chris Reynolds. M.B.,B.S.

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