When athletes train or compete, they all run the risk of sustaining injuries that can range from minor to major. There are all types of sports and all types of athletes, whether it be professional or recreational. Almost all people who participate in sports related activities will likely suffer from some type of injuries, but there are techniques you can use in general to help promote healing and recovery after an injury. Consider using some of these methods to help you overcome current injuries and get back to doing the sports related activities you love.
Types of Injuries
We will all experience a minor injury at some point, but those of us who participate in sports or related physical activities are far more likely to be afflicted with them. Here are some examples of common sports related injuries:
Sprains refer to damage to the ligaments. The ligaments connect the bones together and these types of injuries can range from minor damage from a pull or complete damage that can result in issues with mobility. There are three degrees of sprains with the most severe being complete tears.
Strains occur when the muscle or tendon is injured by excessive force. These injuries are also measured in three degrees and can happen during a fall or other accident.
This injury occurs when the tissue that covers muscles becomes inflamed, usually from being used excessively. One of the most common types of fascitis occurs in the foot and is known as plantar fascitis.
Bruising can occur to anyone of any age. It can happen throughout training and competition during sports. It is characterized by skin discoloration due to blood escaping from vessels under the skin.
- Lacerations and abrasions
Lacerations and abrasions are also known as cuts and scrapes. A laceration is an opening in the skin, and an abrasion is when the skin is rubbed off in an area.
Treatments For Minor To Major Injuries
There are several measures you can take to help aid in the process of healing and recovery from minor to major sports related injuries. Consider using the following techniques to help you maximize your recovery and healing efforts for your sports injuries and everyday mishaps.
Ice Or Cold Packs
If you are an athlete you probably already know the value of applying cold to certain types of injuries. However, if you are new to sports or sports related injuries, keep in mind that ice packs and cold packs can be a big help when you are trying to keep swelling to a minimum. If you are able to keep gel cold packs in your freezer, it can make treating an injury, such as a sprain or strain much easier and less messy.
If you experience minor sprains, strains, or even infection, you can take a warm bath with Epsom salts. They contain magnesium sulfate and work to help reduce pain an inflammation as well as help control infection in lacerations and abrasions that can be exposed to water. Consult your physician first before using Epsom salt baths.
If you experience a more severe or prolonged injury, your doctor may suggest or prescribe physical therapy. A physical therapist will have you do a series of recovery exercises designed to increase mobility and strengthen the area affected so you can get back to a more normal range of motion.
Cryotherapy machines are designed to help sports related injuries by applying intense cold to help reduce pain and inflammation. In fact, a cryotherapy machine can actually numb the affected area and provide pain relief without medication. When using a cryotherapy machine, the surface of the body below the neck will be exposed to temperatures approximately -200 to -300 F for two to four minutes for each session. There are few side effects reported for this type of treatment, which makes it ideal for all type of injuries and age groups.
Consult Your Doctor Before Beginning Treatment For Moderate To Severe Injuries
If you suspect you have sustained a moderate or severe sports related injury, you should always consult your doctor or other medical professional for an examination and instructions on how to treat the injury. When speaking with your doctor, be sure to ask about the different types of treatments available and how to incorporate them into your daily routine to see maximum results during recovery. It is also important to know your limits and to use the assistance of a licensed physical therapist or technician to help avoid further aggravation to the injury.
Patience And Consistence
When it comes to sports related injuries and healing properly, patience and persistence is the key. Whether you are treating a bruise or a ligament tear, it will take time to heal and recover. Ask your medical professional about your recovery time frame and try to avoid becoming frustrated with the process. Don’t try to jump right back into your current routine if you have experienced an injury that has decreased your ability to perform physically.
Whether you are new to sports and athletics, or you have been involved for some time, you can use these helpful tips and techniques to treat minor to major injuries to help you get back to doing the things you love. Keep in mind that results vary from person to person and each injury is unique. If you are unsure about a specific treatment or have questions, always consult a doctor or a medical professional.