Once the swelling has gone down and the muscle doesn’t hurt as much, you can incorporate more movement into your recovery. Some experts recommend gentle stretching for muscles that are recovering from a strain. Be careful not to over-stretch and re-injure the healing muscle fibers.
If stretching is very painful, stop and continue to rest the muscle. You can try again when you aren’t feeling as much pain. If you have questions about when to start stretching an injured muscle or what types of experiences are appropriate, call your doctor or visit a physical therapist. They can help you plan a safe return to normal activity.