As an athlete, you want to put forth your best effort. Unfortunately, going too hard can lead to injuries, especially over time. Depending on the severity of your injuries, there are some things you can do to expedite the healing process. If you have a sports-related injury, here is a list of techniques worth trying.
Use the RICE Method
As soon as you experience an injury, it’s a good idea to begin the RICE method. The RICE method stands for rest, icing, compression, and elevation. For the first couple of days post-injury, you need to get as much rest as you can to prevent bruising.
With an ice pack, you’ll want to cover your injury every two to three hours to bring down swelling. Icing is also most efficient within the first two days. You should also apply an elastic wrap to compress your injury. If you do not have access to an ice pack, you can put ice cubs inside of a small bag as an alternative option.
Compression also prevents further swelling. Avoid wrapping too tight or you’ll cut off circulation to the area. Finally, elevate the injured area for better circulation, less swelling, and less pain. Whenever you’re relaxing, place a pillow underneath the affected area whenever possible. Try to keep some food, water, and electronics close by so that you can keep the injured area elevated for as long as possible.
Using the RICE method within the first 48-72 hours tremendously reduces inflammation and pain, which allows you to heal at a quicker rate.
Get a Proper Diagnosis
Before you begin working on treatment techniques, it’s best to be professionally diagnosed. Wrongfully self-diagnosing a sports injury makes it more difficult to remedy. If you can, visit a sports medicine doctor immediately after the injury occurs. These doctors have the experience and equipment needed to quickly diagnose injuries so that the proper treatment methods can be used as soon as possible. They may even provide you with some nutrition tips that will help keep your body healthy.
Embrace the Healing Process
According to a number of studies, up to 90 percent of student–athletes play with a sports-related injury. Although it may be tempting to get back in the game, it’s best to embrace the healing process. Otherwise, you run the risk of hurting yourself and causing damages that may be beyond repair.
Getting an injury while playing your favorite sport can be devastating. Not only do you have to stay off the field until you recover, but this can also slow down your progress in physical fitness. That’s why you need to find all means possible to get fast relief and get back to the sporting activities.
Treating Injuries With Heat
When most people get injured, the first thing that comes to mind is applying a hot compress or using ice to provide relief to the affected area. However, these treatments should not be used interchangeably. Using the wrong one can worsen your injury and cause severe pain. It is important to understand the nature of the injury before you look for ways to relieve the discomfort.
Use Ice for Damaged Tissue
If you suffer an injury that causes inflammation, redness, or a cut or bruise on the skin, ice is the excellent solution. A lot of localized pain usually characterizes these injuries, and you need something that can numb the area while you seek treatment. If the part is just swollen with no internal damage, the ice can be enough to provide relief without further treatment.
However, when using it, make sure that you don’t apply it for longer than half an hour. Using the ice for an extended period can cause further tissue injury to the area. Note that if you suffer from blood circulation problems, ice may not be an ideal option as it numbs the area. You can also wrap your ice pack in a towel or cloth in order to prevent your skin from becoming too cold while it is being applied. It is important that you are mindful of any discomfort that you may be experiencing so that you do not accidentally cause additional damage to your body.
Use Heat for Muscle Pain
Heat treatment is ideal for relaxing sore and strained muscles. It can be used in the form of heating pads, hot compresses, and hot water bottles. When you apply heat to a part of the body, it releases tension in the muscles and reduces stress in the nervous system. The treatment can be used to relax any muscles, including those on the back, shoulders, hamstrings, and legs. You should never use heat to treat injuries that come with inflammation as it can make them worse. Instead, consider changing your diet to help relieve inflammation Similarly, ice should not be used for muscle injury as it increases tension and causes more pain and stiffness in the affected tissues.
Consider Alternative Options
Not sure what kind of injury you have? If so, it is advisable to consult with an expert before using the frozen pack of peas in your freezer. Also, you can consider other options instead of applying the wrong treatment to your body. For example, massage therapy can be a great way of relieving pain from sports injuries and providing quick recovery.
Practice Range of Motion Exercises
After your inflammation ceases, you must start working on your range of motion. If you’re too sedentary during the healing process, your joints will heal in the same positions and you won’t be able to move the same. For optimal results, do your range of motion exercises under the supervision of a professional.
Sports injuries can be devastating for an athlete. If you utilize these techniques, you can recover at a faster rate and get back to the game you love.