Managing A Sports Injury
The most common sports injuries include bruises, ligament sprains and muscle strains. They are categorised as soft tissue injuries. You may present symptoms such as pain, tenderness, swelling and bleeding. You may also have limited movement or difficulty in carrying out daily tasks. It is crucial that you know what to do and what to avoid immediately once the injury occurs.
Immediately After The injury
This applies to the minor injuries mentioned above. If the injury is severe, you need to be rushed to the hospital immediately or shortly after for first aid. Stop the activity you were doing, and limit your movements. Also, avoid putting weight on the injured area, and wait to be helped up. In most cases, there will be a person who will provide first aid, but if there isn't, there are a few things you can do.
If you have access to ice, you can wrap it in a cloth and place it on the injured area. This reduces swelling and bleeding. After icing the injured area, apply a firm bandage and elevate the area. Most injuries occur on arms or legs. Therefore, elevate your injured and bandaged arm or leg. To be safe, you may consult your doctor to check the extent of the injury.
What to Avoid
Do not exercise or carry out strenuous activities that strain the injured area. This will cause more damage.
Heat is also not good for the injury, especially if there was bleeding. It increases bleeding. Therefore, avoid hot showers, heat packs, hot water bottles or saunas. At times, heat can be good for your injury if it is not an open wound, but let your doctor give the go-ahead to apply heat.
Massage can also be harmful and can cause further damage. The only person qualified enough to authorise massage is your doctor. In some instances, massage is performed when applying medication to help with absorption.
Quick fix drugs will temporarily block out pain, allowing you to carry out activities, but you will be slowly worsening your condition. If your injury worsens, you may end up causing permanent damage and even losing a leg or arm!
When Can You Resume?
Let your doctor inform you when to get back to playing. However, after a couple of days, you can cautiously try jumping, throwing, jogging or kicking to see if you feel any pain or discomfort. If you feel some discomfort, wait for the injury to heal completely. Returning too soon may cause more damage or even delay recovery.