Sports injuries are common because athletes expose their bodies to extreme demands. Amateurs and professionals alike push themselves to their limits to improve their performance and overcome the competition. As a result, it’s more likely they will get hurt due to exhaustion, lack of preparation and traumatic impact.
Athletes who have hurt themselves while training or competing need to start taking care of their injury immediately to set the course for a successful recovery. Below are four steps athletes need to take to overcome a sports injury:
Athletes tend to have the mentality of pushing through pain. While it’s true that some soreness is a normal part of exercising and pushing your body, there is pain that you shouldn’t push through. If you have pain that seems unusual or more serious, you need to stop and rest.
While resting, you may want to elevate the injured part of your body to help reduce any swelling that may develop. Try lying down and elevating the injured part of your body on a couple of pillows.
Icing your injury can help reduce swelling and pain. Wrap a bag of ice or a cold pack or frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to your skin at the injured area. Continue icing the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not ice for any longer than this because too much cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which is painful and inhibits recovery.
You should ice the injured area two or three times a day. Make sure to give yourself about an hour between each session of icing to allow your body to warm back up.
Wrapping the injured area in a compression bandage is a great way to reduce swelling and provide support. Take an athletic bandage and start wrapping at the part of the injured area closest to your heart. Wrap in the direction away from your heart to help encourage the flow of blood and fluids in and out of the injured area.
Be careful not to wrap too tightly. If wrapping is painful or if you feel any numbness or tingling, you’ve wrapped too tight. This can cut off circulation, which makes it more difficult for the injury to recover.
4. Visit a physical therapist
Physical therapists are health care professionals who are experienced in a variety of techniques for treating sports injuries. Physical therapy treatments help you recover faster and safely without the use of drugs or surgery.
Physical therapists can examine an athlete’s condition and develop a personalized treatment based on their individual needs. This usually includes a plan for reducing the chance of receiving similar injuries in the future.
Visit Arrow Physical Therapy if you have a sports injury
Athletes of all levels need to know they have access to the treatment they need for sports injuries. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, our team at Arrow Physical Therapy is ready to help you recover. Contact our team today to learn more about sports injury treatments or to schedule an initial appointment.