Sports Injury Treatment
If you are an active person, it is likely that sooner or later you will suffer from some type of sports injury. Understanding the basics of sports injury treatment will help you to deal with these problems when they do occur, and get you back to a full range of activities as quickly as possible.
The easiest way to remember what to do in the event of a sports injury is to learn the meaning of RICE. RICE is an acronym that will help you to remember how to effectively treat sports injuries. It includes:
Let’s take each in turn.
Rest: This one sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many people ignore pain and just keep going. Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, so whether you get a sudden or a continuous pain, you need to stop and deal with it.
Ice: Ice is a crucial component in treating sports injuries, and the sooner you apply ice to an injury, the quicker it will heal – doctors estimate that every minute you delay in icing an injury slows your recovery by an hour! Treatment is simple – place the injured area in comfortable position and apply ice –this can be anything from a specialised sports injury ice pack through to a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a paper towel. Keep the ice in place for 15-20 minutes, remove, then repeat every hour or so. You can repeat this at intervals for the next few days to keep the swelling down.
Compression: Once you have iced the area a couple of times you can apply a compression bandage. This will help to keep swelling down, and also provides protection. Don’t wrap the bandage too tightly, however as the area will still continue to swell. You also need to be able to remove the bandage at regular intervals to re-apply the ice.
Elevation: As soon as it is feasible, you need to elevate the injured area. Keeping the area elevated will also help to reduce swelling and speed recovery.
This protocol will help you to treat most minor sporting injuries – however, if you are in any doubt about the severity of the injury, seek medical advice as soon as possible.