Whether you’re a weekend warrior, an elite athlete, or somewhere in the middle, getting a sports injury isn’t fun.
A sports injury can mean cutting your season abruptly short or missing out on precious training time for competitive athletes. For recreational athletes, getting injured can interfere with your health goals and cause problems in your personal life, especially if your injury makes it difficult to do routine tasks.
No matter the injury or your athletic status, you want to heal from it fast. We have some ideas that can help you get there.
1. Follow the RICE method
Use the RICE method for soft tissue injuries, which include pulling a muscle or spraining a ligament.
Rest: Resist the urge to “muscle through” an injury. Give your body the break it needs.
Ice: Ice can reduce swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time. Repeat this process 4 – 8 times a day. Don’t forget to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid burning your skin.
Compression: Within 48 hours of getting injured, apply compression to limit swelling.
Elevation: Keep the injured limb elevated to reduce swelling. For lower limb injuries, your ankle should be above your hip. For upper limb injuries, you can elevate the area using a sling or pillow.
2. Get a professional opinion
It’s always a good idea to see your doctor when you get injured. Your doctor can tell you what, exactly, you injured and provide a treatment plan for your recovery, which might include physical therapy. Make sure to follow it carefully to ensure that you don’t re-injure yourself or become active too soon.
While a muscle strain will heal itself with time, other injuries are not so easy to manage on your own. If you think you could have broken a bone or suffered another serious injury, don’t hesitate to visit urgent care or the emergency room.
3. Eat a healthy diet
You can’t work out, so now’s the time to order takeout and binge on cookies, right? Wrong. (Unfortunately.)
When your body is injured, it needs all the nutrients it can get to heal. Many sports injuries are caused by inflammation, so you want to eat anti-inflammatory foods.
Make sure you get plenty of lean protein, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Fueling with fiber-rich foods can keep you feeling full and promote good digestion, which is critical if your injury limits your mobility.
Prevent Future Injuries at StretchSPOT
Once you’re back in the game, it’s important to take steps to avoid future injuries. Stretching before and after workouts can be an excellent way to stay healthy and avoid injuring your muscles.
At StretchSpot, we work with anyone in the South Bay who wants to live an active lifestyle. Our specialists can develop a customized stretching program to keep you limber and healthy while preventing future injuries. Schedule an appointment today to feel the difference quality stretching can make in your overall health.