An acute sports injury isn’t only painful, but it can take its toll on your mental health. If you have sustained an injury on a field, track or court, you might worry about what the future holds for your sporting goals, as well as your physical health.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to turn back the clock to avoid an injury, but you can perform various actions to increase the healing time and ensure you make a full recovery. If you’re eager to resume your daily activities and return to a game, learn about the five steps to take after an acute sports injury.
Step One: Minimize Swelling
As soon as you have sustained an acute sports injury, focus your attention on minimizing swelling as much as possible. The RICE method for recovery is an effective treatment option, as the acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It may speed up healing, especially when protecting an injury using a brace, splint, cast, or bandage.
Step Two: Take Painkillers for Temporary Pain Relief
Painkillers can provide temporary pain relief from a sports injury, such as a hamstring injury, sprain, strain or tennis elbow. Paracetamol is an effective over-the-counter medication you can take while waiting for medical attention. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen may also reduce pain and swelling. However, always read the packaging before taking over-the-counter painkillers to ensure you don’t impair your health further.
Step Three: Seek Medical Attention
It is crucial to seek medical attention after a sports injury to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. Also, you must never ignore a head injury when playing a sport; it is one of the most common issues in organized sports and can be life-threatening if untreated. Common symptoms of concussion include:
- Communication difficulties
- Dizziness or balance issues
- A headache
- Memory loss
- Vomiting and nausea
Step Four: Find Expert Healthcare Advice & Tips
The internet is saturated with health articles that offer uninformed, unhelpful advice regarding various complaints, including sports injuries. As restoring your health and returning to a game will be a top priority, you must seek advice online from reputable sources. ATL Physio is a prime example, as it provides access to honest, professional advice about muscular-skeletal injuries and pain. Plus, the tips and advice are provided by experienced physiotherapists and professional athletes.
Step Five: Stay Fit & Healthy
Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the different ways to stay fit and healthy while waiting for your sports injury to heal. For example, if you’re a runner, you could take the pressure off your legs by swimming in a swimming pool. If you need to wear a cast, you could maintain good physical health with strength training.
Incorporating gentle, physician-recommended exercises into your routine can help you stay in good shape and support your performance when returning to a sport. However, stop immediately if you experience any type of pain or discomfort during a workout.