There are many common sports injuries that can be caused by poor training practices, improper equipment or footwear or accidents. If you’ve twisted your ankle, have shin splints or strained a muscle, what should you do?
If you take care of the injury yourself, what sort of treatment should you follow?
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, if you play sports, you’ve probably faced an injury at some point. Common sports injuries include sprains, strains, swollen muscles, shin splints, muscle tears, and knee and lower leg injuries.
Here is a closer look at some home treatments you can try to help aid your recovery.
Common sports injuries treatment – PRICE therapy
Minor injuries, such as ankle sprains and strains can easily be treated at home using PRICE (previously known as RICE) for two or three days.
PRICE stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Protection – Protect the affected area from further damage – for example, by using some form of support.
Rest – Avoid exercise and reduce your daily physical activity.
Ice – Apply an ice pack to the affected area for no more than 15 minutes every two to three hours. A bag of frozen peas, or similar, will also work well. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel so that it doesn’t directly touch your skin and cause an ice burn.
Compression – Use elastic compression bandages during the day to limit swelling.
Elevation – Keep the injured body part raised above the level of your heart whenever possible. This may also help reduce swelling.
Common sports injuries treatment – Pain relief
Painkillers, such as paracetamol, can be used to help ease the pain. Along with ibuprofen, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help to ease the pain and reduce swelling. However, always consult with the pharmacist or GP prior to taking these.
Depending on the type of injury you have, it can take a few weeks to a few months to make a full recovery.
You may find that a sports massage or sports rehab treatment may aid in your recovery. However, you shouldn’t return to your previous level of activity until you’ve fully recovered or have been advised by a healthcare professional.
Gentle exercise and stretching should help to improve your recovery and movement. A good sports rehabilitation program can reduce your recovery time.