Sports injuries can occur while performing any physical activity. Taking these steps will help you to prevent an injury, and in the case of one, recover more quickly.
Step One: Prevention
Prevention is the first step to take to help avoid sports injuries! This action should be taken every time! Here are some ways to prevent sports injuries from even happening:
- Warm up before any physical activity and remember to cool down afterward.
- Stretch before and after exercise to help retain flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
- Always wear good shoes!
- If you use equipment, make sure it is working properly and is safe to use.
- Learn the proper techniques for whichever activity you are doing.
- Stay hydrated to avoid fatigue while exercising.
- Don’t over do it! Overused muscles are one of the leading causes of injuries.
Step Two: Recognition
Unfortunately, even after using prevention, you have a mishap which results in an injury. Recognition of that injury is the most important key to a faster recovery! If you ignore your injury, more than likely, it will get worse instead of better. By recognizing that you do have an injury, you can start treatment right away which will lessen the severity of the symptoms and help induce healing. Here are some signs that you do have a sports injury:
- Limited mobility
- Discoloration of the skin
Step Three: Determining What Kind of Sports Injury You Have
*If your injury seems small, you can move on to the next step of treatment. However, if you are not sure of the severity of your injury, you will need to seek medical advice and possibly further medical treatment. Listed here are types of injuries associated with physical activity:
- Strains: Injuries to tendons or muscles through excess force. Muscle strains can be small to severe.
- Sprains: Injuries to ligaments. Ligament injuries can range in severity to being stretched, torn or severely torn and/or detached.
- Inflammation: Inflammation can be of the muscles or surrounding areas, tendons or the layer of fibrous tissue that covers the tendons and muscles. Inflammation most likely will accompany any of these other injuries.
- Contusions: Black and blue marks.
- Muscle Cramps or Spasms: Strong muscle contractions that can be extremely painful.
- Cuts or Scrapes: Lacerations of the skin which can be small to severe. Stitches might be required for deep lacerations.
- Dislocations: Occur when the bone slips out of the joint which supports it. You will notice deformities which will be accompanied by pain and immobility.
- Fractures: A crack in a bone. Fractures can be small to large. If you think that you have a bone fracture, seek medical treatment right away.
Step Four: Protection of Sports Injuries
After determining what kind of injury you have incurred, and seeking the proper medical treatment if necessary, protection is the next key to a quicker recovery. Protect your injury from becoming worse by using these methods:
- Applying bandages, elastic wraps or simple splints.
- Tape injured toes or fingers to their healthy neighbors.
- Don’t unnecessarily use your injured body part, put weight on it or move it around too much.
- See a doctor if you think a medical brace or cast will be beneficial.
Step Five: Rest
Injuries need time to heal. Therefore, by not resting your injury, it will require more time to recover.
- Again, don’t use your injured body part unnecessarily.
- Find other activities to do that don’t involve the injury. This will help you stay active during your recovery time.
Step Six: Ice, Then Heat
*Ice is great for inflammation, which will reduce the swelling and pain. Heat is good for the dilation of the blood vessels, hence bringing more oxygen to the injury for faster healing.
- Apply ice to your injury as soon as possible.
- Repeat ice treatment every hour for the first 4 hours, then 4 times a day for the next 2 to 3 days.
- Shield your skin with a washcloth. Don’t let your skin become numb or overly red. Too much ice can cause blisters and skin irritations.
- After 2 to 3 days, switch to heat treatment to further your recovery.
- Patient provides more information on how to properly treat injuries with ice and heat.
Step Seven: Compression
Compression is pressure, which will help reduce swelling and inflammation from returning during recovery.
- An ace bandage is good for adding compression.
- It should be snug, but not too tight to cut off circulation.
- If swelling occurs, make sure to loosen the wrap.
Step Eight: Elevation
Elevation uses the force of gravity to help drain fluid away from damaged tissues. Hence, the faster the fluid drains, the faster recovery time will be. Elevation contributes to reducing the swelling, inflammation and pain of sports injuries.
Step Nine: Use an All-Natural Pain Relieving Product
Instead of using synthetic pain killers which are full of chemicals and fillers, try an all-natural remedy or product.
Essential oils are perfect for the relief of pain and inflammation because of their anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying and sedative effects.
A product such as all-natural ZEN Sports Balm is an excellent way to help reduce pain and inflammation. ZEN only uses the finest, all-natural ingredients, including essential oils. There is a pain relieving formula available for both men and women. Try ZEN today!
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
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