If you love sports or follow an exercise routine, injuries can occur at some point despite taking the necessary measures to avoid them. Professional athletes and beginners might end up with sports injuries, and it’s something one should be ready to handle.
Regardless of the type of injury, a serious one can significantly impact life, especially if it disrupts mobility. However, it’s crucial to seek timely help and follow a strategy to steadily restore your strength to minimize the risk for further injury and resume your daily routine.
If you want the recovery process after an injury to be smooth, here are several recovery tips to consider:
1. Take The Right Action After An Injury
Once you end up with an injury or suspect you have one, you must carry out the proper measures. The proper treatment for sports injuries typically depends on the type of injury, body part, and other factors. Still, a good measure worth considering is the PRICE method which stands for protecting, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
If possible, you can get in touch with a doctor to learn how to apply the PRICE method properly. Generally, the basic principles of this treatment include the following:
• Protect the site of injury.
• Rest the affected body part by avoiding the urge to push through with the sport or activity. Allowing the site to rest will start the healing process.
• Ice is a basic yet highly effective remedy to minimize any inflammation. You can apply an ice pack or bag of crushed ice to the injured portion.
• Compression or applying pressure using a bandage can also help reduce the swelling and prevent fluid buildup.
• Elevation of the injured part above the level of the heart utilizes gravity to promote the drainage of fluid to help further lessen the pain, swelling, and inflammation. If it’s hard to raise the body part above the heart, try to maintain it at the same level as the heart or near it.
You can continue using this treatment method for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury.
2. Monitor Your Pain Level
Although you can manage minor injuries with basic first aid, you should constantly monitor your pain level. If the pain after a possible injury lingers or becomes worse, consider it a clear sign of an injury. Generally, the more careful you are when engaging in any activity or sport, the better.
3. Consult A Medical Professional
The healing period can span up to two weeks with adequate rest for minor injuries such as sprains or tears. Sadly, if your injury doesn’t show any signs of improvement, consider consulting a sports doctor.
Depending on the injury you have, a complete examination and imaging tests such as X-rays and scans can help confirm a diagnosis so your doctor can come up with a strategy to allow faster recovery. When you fully understand the nature of the injury, it can significantly help you during the process.
Depending on the seriousness of your sports injury, your doctor might suggest other treatment modalities such as a muscle-strengthening routine or regenerative medicine from Walker Spine and Sport for faster recovery.
4. Get Enough Rest
When a body part has damage, it’ll struggle with the healing process if you continue to use it despite the injury. Always remember that pain is a clear indicator of an ongoing injury that you shouldn’t overlook or ignore, even if it means taking a break from daily activities or sports.
Generally, it might be best to immobilize the injury site using a splint or brace and allow it to rest to promote healing. If you continue to use the injured part, it can become a chronic one, making it more challenging to manage and a higher chance of recurring.
5. Perform The Recommended Range Of Motion Exercises
When you no longer have any inflammation on your injury, it might be best to start with early range of motion exercises to help steadily restore your entire range of movement if your injury results in disrupted mobility.
If you want to get the best results, consider working with a physiotherapist who can provide you with guidance and ensure you’ll achieve the appropriate milestones. Resuming an activity or sport while your joint motion is still in the process might increase the risk for further injury.
6. Keep Your Body Moving
Aside from the early range of motion exercises, it’s crucial to regain a normal walking pattern, especially if your injury involves the lower limbs.
After rest, taking small steps to keep your body mobile is a crucial part of your recovery. When your injury requires a long rest period, it often results in muscle wasting, sometimes affecting even the uninjured body parts.
In such circumstances, your doctor might recommend physical therapy or a muscle-strengthening regimen that involves resistance training to improve the balance and endurance of the affected tissues. In most cases, a routine includes conditioning and endurance training to ensure a faster return to activity or sports. Make sure to follow through with the exercises your physiotherapist provides strictly.
7. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Although it can be tempting, don’t make your injury an excuse to be lax with your diet. Some individuals with mobility limitations due to an injury might resort to poor eating habits and gain extra weight.
If you want to recuperate faster from your injury, stick with a healthy diet. You might want to consider adding the following foods to promote faster healing of your body:
• Sources of protein-rich foods such as fish and meat can improve the muscle-building process of the body.
• Omega-3 fats can come from supplements and natural sources such as sardines, salmon, walnuts, soybeans, and chia seeds which help reduce inflammation and speed up recovery.
• Vitamin C in dark leafy greens and citrus fruits can help with collagen production to rebuild muscle tissue.
• Foods containing large amounts of calcium such as cheese, milk, yogurt, almonds, and dark leafy greens will help strengthen your bones. Your body also requires vitamin D to effectively absorb calcium which you can get from exposure to the sun.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or an amateur, expect injuries down the road now and then. Timely management of sports injuries once they happen can greatly help hasten your recovery. With proper rest, guidance from your doctor while being careful not to aggravate your injury can make a remarkable difference in your healing, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.