Engaging in sports can provide you with a host of health benefits, not to mention a boost in your confidence, self-esteem, and sense of self-worth. However, it is not uncommon that engaging in sports activities, especially those that require you to be in your optimum physical performance, can also result in injuries such as broken bones, torn muscles and ligaments, and breaks in the skin and other parts of the body. That is why it is important to understand your different options in the effective and efficient management of sports injuries.
One of the best management techniques for any musculoskeletal injury, be it sports-related or otherwise, is undergoing a comprehensive physical therapy. This often includes a thorough physical examination to evaluate the extent of your injuries. Depending on the nature and severity of your sports injuries, you may be provided with a variety of treatment approaches that includes remedial massage, manipulation of specific muscles and joints, and the performance of individualised exercises meant to improve overall joint mobility. Additionally, you may also be given exercises that are geared towards the strengthening of the muscles adjacent to the injured tissue while helping you recover from your injuries. Of particular importance in any physical therapy treatment is the return of normal functioning of the injured area. So, if you have tennis elbow that you can no longer make an effective and purposeful swing at the tennis ball, then a physiotherapist can help you return the full functionality of your arm. In Australia, many athletes seek physiotherapy from one of the leading providers in the country. You can visit wyndhamrehab.com.au for more information.
The PRICE Therapy
If your injuries just happen to be a minor one such as mild strain and sprain, then you don’t have to visit a physiotherapist for its management. You can treat it right at home using a very useful mnemonic that even world-class athletes use. Just remember P-R-I-C-E and you should do just fine. This stands for protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In other words, you need to protect your injured limb or body part from further injuries. You can use elastic bandages or even braces and supports for this. You’re also supposed to rest the injured part, meaning, you’re not supposed to use them in your activities of daily living. So, if you have an ankle sprain, you’re not supposed to step with that foot. Additionally, you will need to apply ice on the injured part to reduce the swelling and inflammation as well as numb the pain. You can apply the ice pack indirectly over the injured part for about 15 to 20 minutes applied every 2 or 3 hours. Bandages can also help limit the swelling. This is compression. Elevating the injured part higher than the level of your heart can also help minimize swelling.
Relief from Pain and Inflammation
Tissue injuries always result in pain and swelling. These are just two of the five signs of inflammation. For pain, you may need painkillers for it often depending on the intensity of pain. For mild to moderate pain, your doctor can actually prescribe acetaminophen or ibuprofen or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. For more severe pain with severe persistent inflammation, corticosteroids may be given by injection. These are very powerful medications and can really reduce inflammation and pain in an instant. Unfortunately, they don’t last that long. So, you may require repeated injections for it.
As much as possible, the injured body part must never be used nor moved. It must be immobilised at all cost. The reason is quite simple. The injured tissues are being repaired by the body’s cells. If the body part is moved, there is a risk of disrupting the reparative processes and further injure the tissues. This is especially true with broken bones as it takes months for cartilage to first form before it can harden into a compact bone. That is why it is crucial to immediately immobilise the injured body part right after the accident so that additional tissue injuries can be minimised.
Surgery and Other Procedures
In most extreme cases such as fractures and torn muscles or ligaments, surgery may be your only option. Corrective surgeries are often performed to fix broken bones using plates, rods, wires, or even surgical screws. If no fractures are present, only bone displacement, then it is possible to physically manipulate the dislocation to realign it to its normal anatomical position without the need for surgery.
There are plenty of treatment and management options if you find yourself suffering from a sports injury. The important thing to understand is that your options are almost always dependent on the severity and extent of your injuries. If the insult is only minimal, then doing the PRICE at home should be enough. Otherwise, a trip to a doctor or a physiotherapist may be necessary.