What To Do In The Aftermath Of A Sports Injury

Posted on: 29 October 2014

Plenty of Americans enjoy playing sports, especially young people. But you only have to look at the recent injuries in a sport like the NFL to know that some sports can be awfully violent sometimes. If you injure a muscle while playing a sport, you'll want to take some precautionary steps to give you the best chance of recovering quickly.

Isolate and Ice the Injury

When you tear or strain a muscle, the entire area can become agitated and will soon start to swell. The swelling can be painful and the more there is, the longer it will take your body to begin the process of recovery. One way to help prevent swelling is to figure out exactly which muscle is bothering you and then put an ice pack over it until you can get further medical assistance. If you are playing a team sport, your trainers will hopefully already have some ice packs handy. Make sure you grab one.

Don't Shut Down Completely

While it is important to hold ice on the injured muscle in the immediate moments afterward, you don't want to stay completely immobile for long. Some muscle injuries actually need some consistent movement in order to heal properly. By moving the injured muscle, you will be encouraging blood flow in the region which can then help begin the repairing process. If you injured an arm or shoulder, slowly move your arm up and down but stop if you feel sharp pain instead of just mild discomfort. If you injured a leg, sit on a bench but try to raise and lower your leg a bit to keep the blood flowing.

See Your Doctor

While taking steps to prevent swelling and then encouraging blood flow can help get you started towards recovery, the only way to really ramp up the process is to get a full diagnosis and treatment plan from your doctor. If the injury is severe enough, you may want to consult with an orthopedic surgeon on your options. Doctors will usually use surgery as a matter of last resort, but with some muscle injuries, the surgery can actually help dramatically speed up recovery.

If you play a sport that has a lot of physical contact, you may one day be injured while on the field. If the injury is to a specific muscle, make sure you ice it immediately to prevent swelling later on. If you can't get to a doctor like UHealth Sports Medicine right away, make sure to keep moving the muscle at least a little to help encourage blood flow to the area.