One of the most dreaded situations that an athlete faces is being sidelined with a sports injury. If this has happened to you, you know that getting better fast is the quickest way to get back on the field. Try these tips to heal your sports injury quickly, and enjoy playing your game once again.
Try the RICE Method Immediately Following the Injury
When you become injured, your body reacts by sending blood to the injury site. This can cause severe swelling and pain. Using the RICE method can help ease this pain and reduce the inflammation. The RICE method is an acronym that stands for:
R-rest; stop playing and rest immediately
I-ice; ice the affected area for 20 minutes at a time for several hours
C-compression; use a brace or wrap to compress the injury for the first 48 hours
E-elevation; elevate the injury above the hip or heart
Use the RICE method immediately after you become injured and continue until the swelling has decreased or you have been seen by a medical professional.
Get Checked Out by a Doctor
Though the RICE method is recommended as an immediate first aid tool, it can only treat minor injuries. Broken bones, torn ligaments and sprained joints need professional care to ensure they heal properly. A sports medicine doctor is specially trained in treating sports injuries. He or she will perform tests and examine the injured site. They will then determine what the best course of treatment is for you.
Rehabilitate with Physical Therapy
After being treated by a doctor it is best to see a physical therapist. A physical therapist can help you strengthen your muscles, regain your mobility and improve your flexibility. Sports physical therapists can help evaluate your injury and recommend exercises and therapies that will help you heal. Physical therapy can help reduce your recovery time and help you feel more like yourself again.
Slowly Get Back into the Game
Understandably, you want to begin playing as soon as possible, but you mustn’t rush healing. Playing your sport again too quickly before an injury has thoroughly healed may worsen the situation. Ease back into playing with short practices and scaled back activity until you are completely healed.
Don’t feel like your season is over just because you got injured. Many sports injuries are minor and can be treated quickly. Use these tips to help your body bounce back and get back in the game fast.