If you’re heavily involved in sports, then there’s a strong possibility that you may sustain an injury. Knowing how to treat a sports injury is important—without pursuing correct treatment, a sports injury may not heal well or as fast as it could, and this may have an adverse affect on your ability to participate in your chosen sport in the future.
So, how can you avoid slower recovery? Let’s look at 5 tips for treating sports injuries fast.
Tip #1 Use the RICE treatment method
Immediately after a sports injury, a doctor or physiotherapist recommends the RICE treatment method. RICE stands for a series of four steps, these are:
1) Rest: Take a break from physical activity and rest the injured part of the body to avoid further damage.
2) Ice: Apply an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the injured area to reduce swelling and pain.
3) Compression: Wrap the area with a medical bandage to prevent swelling.
4) Elevation. Keep the injured part of your body elevated above your heart to reduce pain and swelling.
Taking these immediate measures will help to alleviate pain, reduce swelling and speed-up the healing process.
Tip #2 Know when to see a professional
If you’re confident that you’ve just developed a small sprain, there may be no need to see a doctor or a physiotherapist. However, if you think your injury is a little more severe or you’d like a professional opinion, just to be sure, then it’s worth seeing a doctor or physio to diagnose your injury and find the right treatment.
A doctor can dig deeper and do scans to check that any pain isn’t a fracture or a dislocation. Physiotherapists, on the other hand, will be able to offer treatment plans tailored specifically to your injury, such as stretches and exercises to help you regain movement and strength.
Tip #3 Don’t be immobile
While resting an injury can help in the first 48 hours, you don’t want to rest too much. Doing some physical activity can assist the healing process. When it comes to moving with an injury focus on activities that assist healing, rather than those that may aggravate your injury. Try to get the blood flowing and aim to build strength. Low-impact exercises like swimming and walking are usually great for when you are injured (but may not be suitable for all injuries).
Tip #4 Explore different forms of pain relief
Sports injuries can be very painful. If the injury causes chronic pain, consider exploring different forms of pain relief so that you’re not having to rely on over-the-counter pills. This could include herbal medicines such as all natural hemp oil and devil’s claw. You could also try regularly taking a hot bath, sitting in a spa, or even looking into forms of professional hydrotherapy treatment. Massages could also be beneficial for treating certain types of injury.
Tip # 5 Learn how to prevent future sports injuries
There are many things that you can do to prevent sports injuries such as stretching before and after doing physical activity, as well as making sure you hydrate. As prevention is always the best form of treatment.
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