The Best Ways To Treat A Minor Sports Injury
If you love playing sports and being active, it is an unfortunate fact of life that you will probably get an injury at some point in time. Thankfully there are things you can do to help your body heal and recover quickly. Here are some basic fitness tips, validated by our fitness expert Leena Mogre, to help you treat a sports injury.
When there is pain and inflammation, take it as your body's way of telling you to not use that part of the body. The swelling is there because you have disrupted or injured blood vessels and cells which have then leaked fluid (blood or exudate) into the surrounding tissues. It is a warning sign of tissue damage and must be listened to.
There are certain measures you could take to help with the recovery; RICE - Rest, Ice Compression and Elevation.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you lie down on the bed and do nothing; it just means that you should protect and rest the injured part of your body. So if your ankle is black and blue, then do not walk on it and protect it with crutches or a stick. The best rule of thumb here is to listen to the pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to back off a bit. So if the muscle swells up and moving it hurts, it’s your body's way of immobilizing the muscle and telling you not to move it.
When in Doubt, Ice it Out
Ice should be applied to the injury for at least for 10 to 15 minutes every 1 to 2 hours for the first day or two. Keep applying ice until the pain and swelling subsides. Remember to protect the skin by wrapping the ice in a towel or some kind of cloth. It is best to use a combination of ice and compression together.
Keep it Compressed
Compression refers to the application of pressure to keep the swelling down. This is usually done with tape or a crepe bandage. If you already have your injury in a form of compression, like your running shoe, then do not remove your shoe right away as the compression provided by your shoe will keep the swelling down until you've found an ice pack.
One of the reasons why your injury looks bruises and swells up is because the fluids build up at the site. By keeping the injured body part elevated above your heart, it will help reduce the pain and swelling. For example if you're sleeping, sleep with your ankle resting on a pillow or two.
It is always advisable to see a physiotherapist and just make sure that there is no other serious injury. Most importantly, once you have recovered, get back out there and do what you love. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
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