Elevation is a great way to decrease swelling. Try to keep the strained muscle above the level of your heart. This helps the blood to return to the heart. If you can’t raise the injured body part above the level of your heart, at least keep it parallel to the ground. The reason elevation works is because it decreases inflammation by restricting the amount of blood flow to the area, thereby reducing the amount of swelling. That being said, inflammation is a natural process that takes place when an area of the body becomes injured. A rush of blood is sent to the area to generate the flow of cell re-growth and the removal of infectious “waste” from the area. However, along with inflammation, swelling also occurs. This swelling is what produces the most pain in an injured area. It is safe to reduce the inflammation a little bit, so that the pain is not so severe that it becomes debilitating. When you get a chance to rest, elevate the affected area (like your leg or arm) by using a comfortable pillow or pad. You can use pillows, blankets, or any type of pad that you might have at home; however, they also sell medicinal pads for muscle strains at most medical supply shops. You can even find products online that help support the affected area, but in the end, gathering a few pillows from around the house would be just as effective and much more efficient.