While there are several types of sports injuries, the treatments for them are usually similar. You may not need a doctor for every single sprain. But it’s essential to know about the basic treatment strategies.
Let’s look at some of these now:
Right After The Injury
The few hours after you sustain a sports injury are quite important. That sharp pain subsides into a throbbing sensation while the injured area becomes very sensitive.
To remember what you should do in such cases, keep the RICE acronym in mind. This refers to the following:
- Rest: Stop moving and give the area some rest for some time. Don’t put weight on it and don’t try to twist it around either.
- Ice: Applying ice can help you in the first couple of days after the injury. This can prevent painful swelling. However, it’s important not to place ice right on the skin. Wrap the crushed ice, ice pack, or frozen items in a thin towel before application. Apply this for about 15 minutes and then give a break until the skin comes back to its normal temperature.
- Compress: This involves wrapping an elastic bandage as tightly on your injury as possible. This will help to keep the area still and provide some support.
- Elevate: Put the area of injury above your heart level to minimize the swelling. The fluid will also drain away with this practice.
After A Day
Once your injury is a day old, the pain might be at its peak. You might experience painful swelling and bruising.
The RICE method should continue at this point. Compress the area and elevate it. You may also take an OTC painkiller that soothes inflammation. If this doesn’t work, you can go to the Lake Oswego sports medicine physician to ask for a stronger prescription.
Applying heat isn’t recommended at this point. This might soothe you at first but it will speed up your circulation and increase the swelling.
Three Days After The Injury
Many sports injuries start healing within three days. The third day should show you changing colors in your bruises and a decrease in swelling. The pain should also be more tolerable now.
If the injury is a bit more serious, these signs of healing might take up to a week.
After the swelling goes down, you can start applying heat as well as ice. The heat will improve your blood circulation in the affected area, thus speeding along the healing process. Many trainers recommend alternating heat and ice packs every two to three hours.
Starting To Move
At this point, you may also remove the compress and start exercising your injured place. Stretch it gently but don’t push it too much. If you start feeling pain, stop stretching that far.
Your range of motion should improve with each passing day. Keep the moving and stretching going until you’re comfortable with the idea of regular exercise and playing your sport again.
Treating After A Month
The pain might still linger even after a month. You can alternate heat and ice to manage this issue. Some medicated sports creams can ease your discomfort as well.
In any case, you should keep stretching the affected area even when there are no symptoms. Remember, an injured muscle is more vulnerable to future injuries. Pay special attention to that area to make sure that it stays healed.
A sports injury is usually painful and can even sideline players for the whole season. If you want to make sure of healing as quickly as possible, take out some time to learn how to care for your injury. The next time you pull a muscle or sprain something, you can easily go through the list above and take quick action!