As an athlete, an injury can end your career or season early. Sitting on the sidelines because of an injury can be frustrating. The road to recovery has great opportunities that help you heal from the injury and to return mentally stronger and physically fitter than ever.
Most professionals can go through the initial pain caused by the injury easily. However, laughing off that pain can be problematic. This site allows you to cope with your pain even as you embark on a path to recovery. You need to get the injury assessed and treated. It can take you weeks or even months to get back, but it’s worth it.
1. Elevation and Cold Therapy
Use RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) to treat your acute injury. The first thing you experience is swelling, then warmth and redness which comes with pain. Cold therapy alleviates it while compression using a soft bandage helps control the swelling. You can take some pain relief medications. Elevating the injured part is vital for the next 48-72 hours as it helps reduce swelling as a result of gravity.
RICE aims to control the initial swelling or inflammation as it gets the healing process underway.
2. Get Treatment Immediately
As much as the RICE method is effective when you have minor injuries, it can’t treat underlying issues or more serious conditions. You need a doctor for that and that’s why you should see a physician.
The doctor will identify if you have an injury or are just hurt. Non-emergent injuries can be handled by a primary care provider the moment you feel your condition is worsening. If your doctor is not available, you can go to the nearest clinic and take some pain relief medication as you wait for the injury to be examined. Urgent treatment ensures that you heal faster.
3. Allow Healing
Your body will struggle to heal if you use it repeatedly after the injury. Don’t ignore the pain as it’s a good indicator of your ongoing injury. You have to rest from doing other daily functions and sports.
Immobilize the injured part using a brace, or splinter. Have ample rest to allow complete healing. You will aggravate the injury if you keep on using the injured part. This can turn an acute injury into a chronic injury.
4. Understand Your Injury by Getting Diagnosis
Tears or minor sprains usually improve after 2 weeks of break and rest from daily activities. If there is no improvement, consult a doctor to conduct a thorough clinical examination and some imaging tests. You get a diagnosis for the injury and can start on a rehabilitation strategy for faster recovery.
Understanding the nature of your injury is vital and helps you prepare mentally during the recovery process. A physical therapist offers guidance and supervises you as you recover. Once rehabilitation is complete, the therapist can keep working with you through endurance and strengthening exercises to improve your performance.
5. Motion Exercises
Once you have settled the initial inflammation, you can do some early range motion exercises to restore joint movements. The exercises should be supervised by a specialist or even a psychotherapist to ensure you obtain appropriate milestones. Premature return can cause further injury.
6. Regaining Muscle Strength and Normal Walking Pattern
Walking normally means you have normal weight distribution from your feet to your knee, hip, and your back. If there is an abnormal walking pattern, then it has to be addressed before you can embark on a return to sports. The abnormal walking pattern is mostly due to pain, muscle imbalance, or weakness.
You need a period of rest and some resistance training to improve your balance, endurance, and reflex control on the injured part. This is mostly implemented with endurance and conditioning training as it prepares that injured area for a quicker return to sports.
7. Healthy Diet and Supplements
There are many supplements and foods that ensure your body heals faster after that injury. Take protein-rich foods like fish and meat to promote muscle building process. Dark leafy greens and citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C that helps in the production of collagen to rebuild your tissues and also has important anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega-3 fats from the supplements speed up your recovery and help limit excessive inflammation. Bone injuries like fractures require you to take more vitamin D and calcium-rich foods. It’s vital you bask in sunlight to get the vitamin D.
Regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or just someone who indulges in regular exercises for fitness, accidents, and injuries sometimes happen. It can be a sprain or broken bone. Pain relief is vital even as you struggle to recover from the injury and get treatment.