Over 55% of sports injuries are knee injuries. An injured knee can mean several weeks of pain and loss of mobility. So most people are keen to start the healing process as soon as possible.
Medical assistance should always be your first port of call. However, there are some things that you can do at home to help speed up the process of healing sports injuries.
Read our short guide below to learn how to look after yourself when you are injured playing sport and what you can do to get back to optimal health.
Apply The RICE Method
You can apply the RICE method from the first moment you receive your injury and as a method of post-injury care. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. RICE controls the inflammation in any soft tissues, and it starts the healing process early on.
R – Rest
Immediately after your injury, you must prevent yourself from using the affected area as much as possible. If the injury is on a limb, refrain from putting any weight on the area. During sports injury recovery, you must remain seated as much as possible, walking with support only if needed and allowing the body to heal.
I – Ice
Applying ice to an injury site will help reduce any inflammation. If the injury is red and swollen, then this is a sign of inflammation. This should begin to reduce after 24-48 hours with ice therapy.
Wrap an ice pack or frozen food, if that is all that is to hand, in a towel and apply gentle pressure onto the injury. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes maximum and then reapply every couple of hours. You should see the swelling start to reduce.
C – Compression
Compression bandages will help stop swelling at the site of an injury. Compression will prevent a build-up of lymph fluids around the injury which will cause your skin to swell.
Use a stretchy compression bandage. They should grip your limb tightly but not so much that they stop the blood flow. Check your fingers and toes, if they start to go blue or tingly, then you have the bandage too tight, and you need to loosen it.
E – Elevate
You need to keep the affected area above your heart to assist with blood flow to the site. This can be more complicated with the types of sports injuries affecting lower limbs and often means that you have to remain lying down whilst you allow your body to heal. Doing so will reduce swelling and pain.
Supplement Your Body
As you begin the healing process, you need to treat your body well to help provide the nutrients and supplements it needs to recover. Eat a healthy diet rich in proteins, calcium, vitamin C, and Omega-3 fats. They will help provide you with health benefits and everything your immune system needs to assist in speedy healing.
You can also try taking supplements like HRT for additional hormone support to speed up your healing. Promising studies in the medical industry are ongoing, but they suggest that injected testosterone in men can accelerate healing. Find more info on hormone replacement therapy here.
Healing Sports Injuries Takes Time & Care
Healing sports injuries will take time, but your recovery can be accelerated by following the advice above. Take care of yourself by resting and keep your body well supplemented, and you should be back up playing sport again in no time.
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