basketball player on a doctor's table looking at a female doctor

3 Fast Ways to Heal from a Sports Injury

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.

Prevent Injury While Running

5 Ways to Improve Your Time as a Runner

The new year is in full swing and you may have set a running goal for 2019, but you’re not too sure how to get better as a runner to meet that goal. You’ve come to the right place. Lace up those shoes, get your running gear on, and improve your time by following these five simple guidelines listed below.

1. Be Consistent
It takes 21 days to create a habit, so stick to your training program to get the habit formed and the improvements started. Running can be a struggle sometimes, especially in the cold months, but you have to push through those days and be consistent in your training and always think of your end goal.

2. Include a Long Run
One of the cornerstones to any running program is the Long Run. Usually this is set to be completed on the weekend and done once a week, but this could vary depending on the program or runner. Let’s say your long run is 90 minutes, this type of time on your feet will give you so many benefits which can make you a better runner. As an aerobic activity, you’re training the heart which makes it more efficient and stronger. The consistent effort improves your muscular endurance by increasing capillary size which, in turn, sends more oxygen to the working muscles. At the same time that your muscular and circulatory system is becoming more efficient, your breathing capacity improves. The long run, when done correctly, results in a positive impact on your body, creates a more efficient runner and, you guessed it, equals faster times.

3. Run with Other People
Make your running social! Find a training partner or group to boost your running gains. Long runs become a time to chat as you’re going at a slower pace and workouts become fun because you’re leaning on each other to get through it. Accountability in your training will help you to push a little bit harder when you might otherwise want to back off. Another positive in training with a partner is they might also help you slow down on your recovery days which will leave you more energy for the harder days in your program.

4. Have a Goal or purpose
Having a purpose behind all of this training will help fuel your running and racing performance. Have a measurable goal, for example to finish a half marathon or run a certain time in a 10K or set up a more inspirational goal such as raising money for a charity or bringing awareness to an important cause. Whatever your goal or purpose make sure you remind yourself of it often as it will add fuel to your running!

5. Be Spontaneous
Sometimes we get into a habit of doing the same thing week in and week out. It’s time to be spontaneous. Change it up. Hit some hills, run on the sand, swim instead of run, just throw your training routine a little curveball. Be creative and keep it interesting! Happy running