If you’re involved in any form of physical activity, whether it is weight training or a team sport, you will appreciate that injury is part and parcel of this sporting environment. Although inevitable, it can still be extremely frustrating and sometimes heart breaking to injure yourself.
When you work hard at a particular activity, becoming injured is the last thing in the world you want to experience. For that moment in time, it can feel like everything you’ve ever trained for has been wasted and lost. After this initial phase the next thing you need to do is get back up on your feet in the shortest space of time possible, without rushing back too early.
Although some sporting injuries are severely disabling and require advanced medical intervention, often lesser injuries can be assisted through your immediate actions. This article considers several key steps to follow should an injury result, allowing you the best possible chance of a rapid and successful return to your chosen activity.
Initially, ice should be applied to the injured region as soon as practicable. This ice should be applied for approximately 10-15 minutes and allows for a reduction in both pain and any inflammatory response. If possible, elevate your injured body part so that it is above your heart in your chosen position. This will help to minimise swelling. Continue to ice the injured region every couple of hours and consider anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
Following on from the first 24 hours, continue to apply ice to the injured region approximately 4 times per day at regular intervals. This process should be followed for a further 2 days. Complete rest is also required so where possible refrain from using the injured body part.
By the forth day you should notice a slight improvement. It is at this stage that the switch from ice to heat should occur. Again, this application should last for approximately 10-15 minutes and should be applied 3 to 4 times per day. Continue with this heat treatment for 2 days with its purpose to enhance blood circulation to the injured region.
This here marks the fifth day of your post injury status. If you are still struggling to maintain normal range of movement and use of the affected limb by this stage then further medical advice from your doctor should be sort. They will be able to offer further specialist, therapy options to enable an enhanced recovery response.
As the injured region begins to fully recover and recuperate, continue to apply heat to the region for approximately 10-15 minutes before commencing a light bout of stretching and strengthening injuries. Start at a low level and gradually build up these exercises over a period of time. Although you might feel ok and will inevitably be raring to go, over exertion at this delicate stage might result in returning to square one and repeating the process.
So there you have a step by step recovery guide to enable you a full recovery from minor injuries such as sprains and strains. Although the information contained is simplistic and common knowledge, you’d be surprised how many individuals either get it wrong or simply omit it when they become injured.